Posted by Mary Beth Dahl on February 19, 2014
We’re pausing today in my social media pursuit to take a quick glance at internet safety. I’ll do a longer post later, but before I keep jumping into the internet and encouraging others to join me, I want to make sure you understand the dangers.
If you are on a social media site, you’re gonna need to know these things.
If someone you care about is using social media, you’re gonna want to keep reading.
If you don’t think the internet is dangerous, you’ll probably want to stick around.
I won’t go into all of the dangers today, but that might make a great future post — Viruses, Identity Theft, Predators, Pornography, and more!
Security and Passwords
Make sure you have virus protection installed on your computer.
There are some free ones out there. (You get what you pay for), but believe me, something is better than nothing. I opened one cute card from a dear friend, and BAM, my computer shut down. I didn’t have any virus protection because I knew I wasn’t going to be going anywhere dangerous. Silly me.
AVG, Norton, Kapersky, Vipre—there are a bunch of them and they’re easy to install and can help you protect your computer from not just viruses, but also from predators.
I’ve got security installed on my website too. Did you know I have at least 5+ attempts to break into my website every week, and sometimes that number climbs past 20. That’s people (or computers) attempting to crack my password and log into my website. Those same criminals are looking into your computer too. So be sure to create a strong password. Letters, numbers, symbols, capitals—all of it, and don’t use your birthday or some variation of the pattern on your keyboard.
Oh, and be sure to write down your password and put it in a safe place. Not so sure storing it on your computer is a good idea. There are password vaults that help you create strong passwords and then store them for you, but I’m too skeptical to trust some computer somewhere with the keys to my virtual houses.
Microsoft Security – Parental Controls and Internet Security
Sorry, I’m not an Apple person, so I can only help you with Windows stuff. My guess, though, would be that most operating systems have some sort of security. With Microsoft, you can set up parental controls and personal controls to help keep you and your loved ones out of places you shouldn’t be.
Go to the control panel. (You can search for it. It’s usually hanging out near the documents, music, computer, etc.)
As great as it is to have a dictionary, Bible, and all of your friends right at your fingertips, the internet is also a place where other things can be right at your fingertips. I clicked on a link once and ended up on a porn thread on Tumblr. I wasn’t looking for that. And the ones you love probably won’t be either, but it only takes a second (depending on how good your connection is) for someone to stumble into the wrong place. So take precautions. A simple google search of the word bunny could take your five-year old to a place you don’t want him to go.
I’m sure there are other things to be mindful of as you roam the internet. Please share your stories in the comments.