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How to Avoid Viruses

  1. Install antivirus and malware software
  2. Keep your antivirus/malware up to date
  3. Run regular scans
  4. Secure your network
  5. Do not open an attachment in an email from someone you do not know
  6. Use strong passwords (and do not share it with anyone else)
  7. Use message boards and social media with caution
  8. Set your accounts with the highest privacy settings
  9. Be cautious of unsecured websites
  10. Be careful what links you click on (especially ads on safe websites)
  11. Remember that once something is on the Internet, anyone can get a hold of it
  12. Check for secure transaction information before giving information such as bank details or other personal information

What to do if You Encounter Illegal Material

  • If you see any photos of child abuse or criminally obscene adult material, report it here: https://www.justice.gov/criminal/sectionsoffices
  • If you find anything that is considered illegal, such as things related to terrorism, report it to your local police

How to Tell if a Website is Secure

  • At the beginning of the website URL, there should be https:// instead of http://
  • Make sure your internet connection is secure

Secure Your Wireless Router

  • Change the name of your router from the default
  • Choose a strong password
  • If you have a guest network, set a strong password to give your house guests

How to Keep Your Family Safe Too

Children do not always know how to make the best decisions on the Internet. Here are some tips to teach your kids how to be safe on social media:

  • As the same rule applies to the real world, never be mean
  • If your child gets harassing or bullying messages, they should let you know immediately
  • Follow the “WWGS” (What Would Grandma Say?) rule
  • Your kids should not share anything on social media that they wouldn’t want their grandma to see (as well as their teachers, future bosses, colleges, etc.)
  • Go through the privacy settings of the social media site with your child and make sure they understand what each setting does
  • Do not “friend” strangers!

Cyberbullying

The action of sending or posting hurtful or intimidating messages to someone over the Internet or text messaging

A Note to Parents

If you ban your child from using one social media site due to cyberbullying, it can very likely move to another site. It is best to solve the bullying problem and not just make your child get rid of their social media account.

What to Tell Your Kids to do if They Experience Cyberbullying

  • Tell a trusted adult
  • Do not respond
  • Save the evidence (screenshots are handy)
  • Block and report the bully
  • Do not retaliate, bullying back makes you just as bad as the bully themselves

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