Tips & Advice

On Children’s Day, teach your kids how to stay safe online

Gracie Roberts, 1 June 2016

We’re here to help you provide your kids with a secure approach to using the Internet safely and wisely. Make sure to protect your family’s devices with Avast.

Happy International Children’s Day! Celebrate this year’s holiday by keeping your kids safe in the digital world.

Happy International Children's Day from Avast!

As the trusted authority in your home, you are the go-to resource to help keep the Internet a safe place for your family. To protect your children from inappropriate online behavior, people with bad intentions and unsuitable content, you need to stay informed about current issues and understand the social networks and devices that your children use. Avast Free Antivirus and Avast Mobile Security can help you stay safe while using each of your devices.

Children whose parents talk to them regularly about what they do online will likely use responsible behavior when on their own.

Avoid the dark corners of the Internet

Kids search for things on the Internet using the same browsers that adults do. They can misspell a word, use a poorly worded search, click on a pop-up or follow an unknown link that can result in accidentally being exposed to pornography or other inappropriate content.

Young kids should not surf the Internet without supervision. Since that’s not always easy to control, you may want to install parental controls for the Internet. Start with your Internet service provider (ISP) and/or check browser settings for content blockers and extensions. Set password protections on your mobile devices (check your smartphone’s settings). You can also set up protection on game consoles and DVD players.

Know what apps your kids use

Young kids use their parents’ smartphones and tablets to go online, making it a simple task to monitor what kinds of apps they use. Always make sure that your child downloads apps from trustworthy app stores like Google Play or iTunes, since third-party stores have less security checkpoints in place. Even reputable app stores can harbor fake apps, so double check before you download.

Also be aware that apps can cost upwards of $10 per installation, so unless you want a surprise on your credit card bill, you should instruct your child to ask permission before installing. Any apps containing banking information or that have credit card information saved to make purchases should be password protected.

Don’t reveal too much online

Anything that is shared -- messages, photos, social updates, check-ins, and of course, home address, phone numbers, and financial information -- can fall into the wrong hands. The ramifications can be anywhere from full-blown identity theft to a damaged reputation.

It’s important to talk to your kids about the importance of keeping personal information to themselves, but in some cases, extra steps may also be required. Look for software that can track online activities and allows you to review text messages, social accounts, calls, and geo-tagging information.

Protect your passwords

Kids tend to share everything with their BFF of the moment, but it’s not wise to share passwords with anyone. Encourage your kids to use strong, long, unique passwords for every site and network they log onto. Bad practices include re-using passwords on multiple sites and creating passwords from their birthday or the family dog’s name. It’s far too easy for hackers (or your ex-BFF) to crack them and do some damage.

If it’s too hard to remember all those long passwords, invest in a password management system. Avast Passwords is a feature available in Free Antivirus, Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, and Premier.

We’re here to help you provide your kids with a secure approach to using the Internet safely and wisely. Make sure to protect your family’s devices with Avast.

Protect your PC with Avast Free Antivirus and your Android phone and tablet with Avast Mobile Security.