Remember when passing notes in the hallway was the main form of “texting” with friends? And if you wanted to “unfriend” someone, you scribbled out their picture the class photo? Technology has definitely changed how we interact with each other and the world.
Now many children get smart phones and tablets when they’re toddlers and often teenagers know the latest breaking news stories before their parents do.
Technology has made education easier and has enabled the ability to video chat face-to-face from thousands of miles away. But with the prevalence of technology in the home, parents worry about keeping everyone safe when online.
At abcd TECH, part of our affordable Residential Plus tech support plan includes extended appointment and phone support hours. Many of our family clients ask for help securing devices so that their children can take advantage of technology while also staying safe when using it.
We help them implement everything from parental controls to Wi-Fi network security. One of our main objectives is to help our clients get the most out of their devices to connect and engage. Security is a big part of keeping technology a positive influence, so it’s a big focus of our residential service.
What types of security technology is out there for home users? Quite a bit. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the important ways you can protect your family while they’re online.
Security Technology to Keep Your Family Protected Online
Many of the parents we talk in Wichita, KS and the surrounding area understand that kids today need to interact with technology in order to keep up with their classmates. But they also worry about the negative effects of living too much of their lives online and what they might be exposed to.
Children under 9 now spend more than 2 hours a day on device screens. (CNN)
According to a report by nonprofit Common Sense Media, children 8 and younger are spending over 2 hours a day on screens. 67% of parents say it’s helping their child’s learning.
As mobile devices become a bigger part of most family’s lives, it’s important to know the tools and apps you can use to protect everyone and keep them safe.
Most operating systems like iOS and Android, as well as 3rd party apps, offer parental controls to give adults a way to filter their children’s internet activity.
Many a new parent has gotten a shock when their child has inadvertently run up a costly bill from in-app purchases in a game without realizing that’s real money! Here are some of the things that parental controls allow you to do:
- Restrict screen time
- Restrict in-app purchases
- Turn off camera function
- Set the ratings allowed for movies, music, and games
- Block sites that can be visited
- Location tracking
- Set talk and text limits
- Mask profanity
Web filtering, also known as content-control software, allows you to block certain websites or certain pages of sites based upon the filtering criteria you set up. For example, it can block pornographic content, websites carrying spyware or viruses, or social media sites.
It allows you to narrow the scope of allowable content to give you more control over how much of that wild WWW world out there your family is exposed to.
Security Apps for Home
Business networks aren’t the only target of hackers. Cybercriminals also go after residential networks in order to gain access to sensitive information, like passwords to your banking website.
Security apps can beef up your Wi-Fi protection to ensure only those you want connecting to it can. They can also watch for and block unwanted intrusions and protect your personal and financial data from hacking.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
You know how you go on some websites and they seem to know your general physical location? That’s because they’re reading your IP address which gives them information, such as your city and state.
A VPN offers more privacy and acts as an intermediary between your home network or mobile device and the internet. This means that the IP location that a site is reading isn’t yours, it’s the one coming from the VPN’s server you’re connecting through, which could be anywhere in the world, thus giving your family more privacy.
If you’re sharing your tablet with your toddler or grandchild so they can play some educational games, you want to make sure no “deletion mishaps” occur. No one wants those family vacation memories wiped out.
Ensuring that your family has a solid cloud backup system in place can save you in the event of a lost or damaged device or accidental deletion, by ensuring all the device data is backed up safely and easily recovered if needed.
Online Security Classes
It’s a good idea to have your family meet for an afternoon with an IT pro to go over online security. Often kids will listen to someone else before they take the same information from their parents to heart.
Our online security classes for families at abcd TECH are very well received and parents tell us that both they and their kids learned a lot about how to stay safe online in just one engaging session.
Would You Like Some Help with Home Internet Safety?
Whether you’d like to learn how to work the parental controls on your child’s smartphone or would just like to know the best virus software to put on your home network, abcd TECH has your back!
We have hours that accommodate families! Call or contact us anytime Monday through Saturday from 9AM to 8:30PM at 316-768-7832 to schedule an appointment.