Tips & Advice

Back to School Tips: The ABCs of Online Security

Nancy Nunziati, 18 August 2017

Online safety for our children is as easy as ABC – Avast Blocks Cybercrime! Learn how we stop the crooks, so your child can hit the books.

It’s time once again for backpacks, busses, and school bells. Here are a few good lessons to share with your kids so they can get through the school year with an A+ in online safety.

LESSON 1: Phishing is not what it seems.

For a generation growing up with a mobile phone in hand, phishing is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. Cybercriminals doctor up emails to look like they are from a known, trusted source – let’s say, Venmo or a personal friend from your contacts – and they try to get the user to either click on a link, download an attachment, or input log-in credentials.

So how can you teach your kids to spot a phishing scam? The company logo may not look quite right. There may be a typo. The “voice” of the email may seem off. Teach your children to look out for these signs, and never to access a website through an email link. If they receive a message claiming their Venmo has been compromised, have them exit their email and open up Venmo in another window, going through the proper “front door.”  

LESSON 2: Free Wi-Fi doesn’t always mean “free.”

It’s common for schools, coffee shops, malls, and virtually all large public venues to offer free Wi-Fi these days. However, while the convenience is irresistible, and “everyone connects to it,” these open fields can be fertile ground for cybercriminals. Make sure your kids know there may be a hidden cost to joining a free Wi-Fi network.

LESSON 3: You don’t always have to memorize.

Encourage your kids to change their passwords every few months for all of their accounts, and teach them to use different passwords for each online service. Avast Passwords can manage them all, and it comes with Avast Free Antivirus.

Bottom line: Before the first bell rings, make some time to look into a robust antivirus software, like Avast Antivirus for desktop and mobile, and get it installed on every device—yours and your kids’. Avast helps to keep malware from downloading into your system even if your child mistakenly clicks a link.