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It’s Safer Internet Day: celebrate by talking to the kids about online habits

By Staff writers | 3:20 pm 05/02/2013

Pretty much everything we do connects with the internet somehow, and we don’t expect that to change. With that in mind, your kids will likely always be using the web, so before they find some bad habits of their own, take the time to talk to them about some good ones.

With Safer Internet Day being celebrated today, people around the world are putting forth tips and suggestions to help make people’s experiences online just that much better.

This year’s day also marks the 10th anniversary of the event, aimed at making everyone more aware of what’s happening on the web.

“Over the years, Safer Internet Day has become a landmark event in the online safety calendar, and an action that has been taken up across the globe,” said Janice Richardson, Coordinator at Insafe, one of the organisations responsible for running Safer Internet Day.

“With this year’s theme of online rights and responsibilities, we aim to engage all stakeholder groups – children and young people, parents, carers and educators, and industry and the third sector – to raise awareness that we all have a shared responsibility to make the internet a safer, and better, place for all.”

Symantec, makers of the Norton range of internet security programs, have chimed in for the occasion, with some tips to talk to your kids about, as a way of encouraging everyone to stay up to date and keep better security on the world wide web.

“Safer Internet Day is an annual reminder of how careful we need to be when we are online,” said Marian. “Norton is encouraging individuals to manage their children’s growing online independence by educating them on the many serious dangers on the Internet and to ensure they can surf the web knowing they are protected from the threats out in cyberspace today.”

Some of the things parents can do include talking about how you should never give personal information out, and to never share passwords with anyone.

The “stranger danger” rule is just as popular offline as it is on, and while it might seem easier to find friends online, it’s always important to know that a stranger on the internet can be just as dangerous as one in the real world in person.

Always be careful what sort of links are being clicked on, as this is a killer. One of the most obvious ways for someone’s security to be invaded is to click on a link that they didn’t want to see in the first place. This happens when you see messages like “I totally found this pic of you the other day,” a message that seems harmless, but will run something nasty on your computer and show you nothing but malice.

And as always, make sure there’s some form of up-to-date internet security on a computer. For adults, this is more something you need to take care of, but it’s good to impart on the little ones why it’s necessary, so that growing up, they know that security is important on their gadgets.

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