Halloween is one of the most popular times of the year, both for kids and parents. The amount of effort people put into their costumes, decorations, and treats is an impressive example of teamwork.
While you and your kids have been dressing up in scary outfits to go trick or treat the neighbors, it’s also the perfect time to remind kids that not everything you see on the internet is as it seems.
The internet hosts all kinds of people, and some of them are creatures with malicious intent. The last thing you want is to fall prey to a social engineering attack designed to compromise your online activities.
Here’s how to make Halloween less scary for your kids online:
Stay cautious of your worst online nightmare – hackers
Although a typical Halloween involves kids heading out on the streets and going door to door for trick-or-treating, this year’s Halloween is already scary enough with the global pandemic in full swing.
Having said that, kids are likely to stay indoors, where they will flock to gaming and social sites. These sites typically require registration (username and password). It’s the ideal time to highlight the importance of having a strong unique password for your online accounts.
Similar to how kids are taught phrases such as ‘stranger danger’ and ‘thank you’, it’s crucial that kids these days are taught the importance of cybersecurity. Begin by instilling a sense of cyber-savvy in kids so that they don’t find the branch of information technology security to be boring.
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Fight the urge to not click on ads
Popups can be annoying and the constant flow of ads when you’re visiting a site are designed to attract you and make you click a particular ad. However, the moment you click an ad that potentially has a malicious embedded code, it’s a win for the hacker.
As we consume more of the internet, we tend to forget that nothing in life comes for free. Since most of the information on the web is free and easily accessible, it’s no secret that we are the product.
What this means is that your online activities (habits, likes, and dislikes are sold to third-parties or the highest bidder), who then target you with ads that often contain malicious software (spyware or ransomware).
Make a habit of not clicking ads unless you know its origins are safe and advise others around you to avoid clicking ads.
Use but don’t get abused
Social media is an essential part of our daily lives. Generation X, Y, and especially Z are glued to their screens scrolling through their social media feed. With a great deal of our daily lives spent on social media platforms, they attract people with evil intentions to exploit young individuals.
Bogus IDs and social engineering attacks constantly target and victimize children. Be sure to make the best use of these platforms by applying strict privacy settings, be cautious of who you share your information with, don’t reply to strangers, and realize that digital footprints can’t be erased that easily.
That’s not it; cyberstalking and cyberbullying are growing concerns and a grave threat to a healthy social media experience. It’s essential to realize when someone is targeting you and to have a relationship of trust with your children so that they may share if they’re being harassed online.
As always, the best way to avoid such situations is to block users that are attacking you online.
Regularly update your IoT devices
Internet-enabled devices are everywhere. From our homes to offices, smart devices rule the walls and the palm of our hands everywhere we go. As these devices are an integral part of our daily lives, it’s important to connect them to a secure WiFi network and keep them updated.
Updates carry the necessary builds that contain bug fixes and security patches for your device. As exploits are learned, developers quickly work to patch loopholes that may compromise your online privacy and security.
Whether it’s a smart fridge or a smart TV, updating these internet-enabled devices is equally important. However, what’s more important is to educate others around you, especially young children, to make a habit of updating devices and connecting to a secure WiFi network that’s backed by AES 256-bit encryption.
Halloween will come and pass by, don’t let your online privacy slide by. Secure your digital existence and keep others around you digitally secure as well. Make the most of the best Halloween VPN deal unlike any other.