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Safeguard your family and yourself from hackers, cybercriminals, and online bullies

The Internet has become the new playground for children and an important communication and research tool for teens. Parents and guardians need to be aware of the potential for online trouble and the need to keep tabs on young netizens -- as well as the need to create a safe and nurturing online environment for their family members.
 

Trend Micro is here to help with information, advice, and powerful Trend Micro Security products.
 

The issue of revealing TMI (too much information) is a growing problem for people who socialize online. According to a Trend Micro sponsored poll, 24% of respondents have posted something on a social network like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter and later regretted or removed it.
 

To avoid the problems and issues that may arise from what you share in social networks, please consider the following safety tips:
 

  • Keep it private - Know how to use the privacy settings of the social networking sites and review their privacy and security policies. Check the Terms of Service to make sure your kids are old enough to use the site
     
  • Secure your computer - Use reputable computer security software and keep it up-to-date. This will help protect you from malicious software that is designed to infect your computer and steal personal information
     
  • Keep personal information private - Make sure your children know to never share their phone number, address, and name. Some security technology, like Trend Micro software  can even help you prevent them from posting information like your home phone number online
     
  • Know what is appropriate to share - Advise your children to post only those things they wouldn’t mind teachers, relatives, or future employers seeing. Oversharing online can certainly damage a reputation. Anything they post can be public forever
     
  • Netiquette - Teach your kids to treat others respectfully and to tell you if they are being harassed online
     
  • Respect copyrights - Avoid the unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material on their profiles
     
  • Report problems - Inform the site of any unwanted contact or inappropriate content. Most major social networking sites have a mechanism for you to do this. For more information on reporting unwanted contact, please visit our If You Need Help Now section

 


According to Pew Research, 88% of teens have witnessed “mean or cruel behavior” on social networking sites. While kids can easily socialize with their friends or make new ones through the Internet, cyberbullies may hide behind fake personas which make them hard to trace and stop.
 

Also, you need to know sexual predators may attempt to befriend children online through flattery, sympathy, or gifts. Enable your kids to develop appropriate online friendships with these tips:
 

  • Think about what you post - Use sites and services that have privacy settings. Do not share personal information
     
  • Be nice online - Treat people the way you yourself would want to be treated
     
  • Do not retaliate - If someone says or does something online that makes you uncomfortable, it is best to ignore them or block them altogether. Retaliation can encourage the bully to continue
     
  • Report bad behaviors to someone you know - If someone is harassing you online or by phone, tell someone you trust
     
  • Report bad behaviors to the service providers - Report any bullying to the service provider of the email, phone, instant messaging, or social networking being used by the bully. Visit our If You Need Help Now section for more detailed information on how to do this
     
  • Save the evidence - If the behavior continues, work with your parents or another adult to save the offending messages, pictures, or copies of online conversations. More serious forms of cyberbullying should be reported to the police
     
  • Don’t participate and stand up for others - Even if you aren’t the direct victim of the bully, don’t participate by simply watching someone else be bullied. Stand up for others. Even if you aren’t the direct victim of the bully, and haven't participated, don’t simply watch someone else be bullied

Kids may be exposed to sites with pornography, gruesome images, violence, and other inappropriate content. You can protect them by establishing limits, using your security software’s parental controls, and keeping communication with your children open and honest.
 

  • Set rules - Make it a house rule that kids must use their computer in a common area
     
  • Stay connected to the sites your children visit - Agree to which websites your children are allowed to visit. Then review the safety and security policies of these sites and see if they require any personal information (like an email address or home phone number) to be provided
     
  • Use technology - You can block access to many categories of harmful sites by using the parental control features of your computer security software. Trend Micro Security products allow parents to monitor their children online as well as limit their access to inappropriate websites
    • Security software should do the following:
      • Block dangerous websites
      • Notify you of privacy risks
      • Screen inappropriate content
      • Provide safe surfing
         
  • Be proactive - If you’re still not sure if a certain site is appropriate for your children, visit Common Sense Media
  • For more advice - Visit Internet Safety for Kids and Families

 

 

 

 

 



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