As the parent of a pre-teen, this is the time of year when I am reminded that my daughter is very tech savvy and I NEED to keep an eye on her and her online behaviours. It happens every year, she goes back to school and is suddenly downloading new apps, games and visiting new sites at the recommendation of her friends. They all seem to have made new discoveries over the summer and it’s a race to master them once they’re back in school hearing all about these new gems.
I really admire the aptitude these kids have for being in the know with the advances in technology but it’s our responsiblitiy as parents to keep our fingers on the pulse of what’s happening. This is a HUGE job, seriously I don’t want to sit for HOURS nightly checking the kids phones, researching and being the internet guard….thankfully there ARE many companies who help us parents to make it easier.
TELUS WISE: Ten Tips for Back-To-School Online Safety
As a Telus customer for over 18 years, I rely on them for great phone service AND their advance knowledge in all things online. Here are their ten tips for Back to School online safety:
- Review the permissions before giving permission. Apps and social sites often ask for access to personal information that could put you at risk. Set rules around what info you and your kids will share and with whom.
- Keep it private. It is vital to constantly check and adjust privacy settings within apps and social sites to keep up with ever-changing defaults. Looks for app settings that share information publicly and change it to close friends only.
- Set-up a 24/7 watchdog for your name. Create a Google alert for yourself and each of your family members to track how your names are being used online and where you’re being mentioned. Find out more on our TELUS WISE site.
- Less is more. Limit the amount of potentially sensitive information posted online to lower chances of theft or abuse – think twice before posting last names, age, school names, vacation location or other personal info.
- Keep connections personal. A good rule of thumb is to only connect and share with people that you know in real life. “Friending” people online whom you’ve never met increases your risk of exploitation
- Think before you click. Always read the full path of the URL link you are about to click to make sure it’s going to take you where you want to go.
- Don’t be found. Turn off geo-tagging on smartphones and tablets to keep from being tracked. When this feature is enabled, your exact location can be exposed even if you’re just posting a photo. Ensure that apps that rely on location (e.g. Google Maps) are the only ones that have location enabled.
- Lock it down. Set passwords that are at least six characters long. Use at least one symbol, number and uppercase letter; for extra security use different passwords for each website or account you use.
- Don’t log in and leave it. Always be sure to log out of social accounts and apps when you aren’t using them. Disable or deactivate accounts and apps you no longer use
- Keep your digital household clean. Set a recurring 3-month calendar appointment to check your online profiles, confirm privacy and permission settings on the social media sites you subscribe to and review any apps that you’ve downloaded.
These tips are fantastic, be sure to share them with your kids because knowledge is POWER!
For more tips to keep you and your family safe online, or to get set up with free online safety education, visit the TELUS.com/WISE or visit a local TELUS store.
WIN a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini from Telus
To celebrate the Back to School season, my friends at Telus have kindly provided one Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini for a giveaway!
This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, 18+ all entries are verified.
Entry is simple, just fill in the form below. All entries will be verified, this contest ends on October 16th, 2014. The winner will have 48 hours to respond.