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Summers Near or Summers fear?

Have the conversation...

The warmer weather is upon us and that only means one thing, summer vacation is nearing for the kids! I am sure you have begun thinking of how you are going to fill their days, are they going to camp, home with friends, home with their siblings? Or maybe you plan on taking a summer holiday off work to spend some time with them.

You must be thinking okay cool why are we talking about this, what does this have anything to do with today’s blog? Mazzzing here and we are back to share why maybe you should be even the slightest bit concerned of leaving the kids home alone all day, sitting in front of the TV and probably glued to their tablets, phones, or laptops.

Now, I mean its wishful thinking if we assume that all kids are 100% cautious of what links they are clicking on, I mean sometimes adults make the very same mistakes! This is where we come in, we want to help. We are here with one goal in mind - teaching you some points and tricks to make the online security chat with your kids, easier - Let’s jump in.

We hear every day of hackers installing malware to take over these big corporations’ entire networks, with the only retrieval method being paying ridiculous amounts of bitcoin. While this is so commonly spoken about in workplace environments, have we spoken to the younger generation about it? Young preteens are highly confident that they know how to protect themselves online, (and I mean while they are half right because they can operate computers better than most of us) but do they know what websites they should and should not be visiting? Do YOU know what websites they are visiting?

If you answered yes, well that’s amazing, we are so glad online security has been a conversation in your house before. If you answered no, well that’s okay, we are here to give you a few tips and pointers on how you and your family can create a safe space online. One that supports the same safety you want your kids to feel when they walk out the front door to just “go to the park”. And hey, if you’ve already had the chat, there’s no reason you can’t share more wisdom or utilize our tips and tricks to further educate your kids.

While we have discussed ways of ensuring secure browsing we have gone ahead and listed examples of why they should consider these safety tactics in hopes that they challenge or argue what you’re saying a little less than they would on a normal day.

1. Never post or trade personal photos.

This seems basic, we know. But we are not just talking selfies. Be cautious of your surroundings, be cautious of what is in the background of your snapchat photos, it may give an idea of where you are. Consider avoiding capturing photos in common areas where you routinely visit, such as your school, your local grocery story, hey even at the soccer field you typically train at. Someone who is looking to invade your privacy will most certainly observe these routines. There may also be people around you who land in the background of your photos, who do not wish to be photographed so we’re just suggesting you take that extra precaution.

2. Never share personal information

Does your child play any online multiplayer games? Do they have gaming consoles that allow them to interact with other players? This is where it may begin, discussing the importance of maintaining confidentially while chatting online is so crucial. The personal information you may feel subject to share online includes things like your full name, avoid this when you can. Don’t share your phone number, don’t share your address of course, don’t share a workplace location or your school. Again, such minimal and simple asks yet there are so many individuals who have their entire lives online. Refraining from sharing these details will very much protect you.

3. Never respond to unknown messages, emails, friend requests.

Even as adults, we get message requests in our Instagram DM’s regularly letting us know we won something, or that we were chosen to be a brand ambassador, its spam. I can’t emphasize enough that responding to these messages can so often put your well-being in danger. Individuals doing these are looking to obtain personal information, credit card numbers, passwords, any personal data really. So, let’s just press decline, or report and delete these users. Some tips to identifying a message that you may or not believe to be fraud is to consider if you have any mutual friends, Instagram tells us about this right on an individual’s profiles. If nothing looks familiar, decline.

4. We have spoken of this before, but I cannot reiterate it enough - Do not use the same password for every single account you have!

Did you know 90% of people online are worried about their passwords being hacked while, 64% of the same users are using the same password for every account that they have! Crazy, right? Please, I can’t stress enough, the reason that websites are requiring complex passwords made up of so many different components and characters is just to protect you. We know it can be annoying but trust the process. However, they can’t protect you if you’re using the same password for every account that you have though, they don’t know that the password you chose is also your online banking, social media, and Netflix password. Just do us all a favor and choose something different! While refraining from reusing passwords, you can also make a conscience effort to regularly change passwords, set that notification in your calendar for every 90 days to go in and change your passwords!

5. Create an atmosphere that promotes comfort in communication with your kids.

Sometimes children feel hesitant to talk about an issue they are going through or facing in fear of being judged, scolded, punished etc. So often, the troubles they are facing are things that we can guide them through and help them resolve. Having open and honest conversations with children about online security, and what to do if they ever feel they are unsafe is important. We want them to know that despite whatever the problem is, they should feel comfortable approaching an adult to discuss and mitigate. We don’t want them to feel embarrassed or ashamed. Young teenagers are much more likely than preteens to behave inappropriately online, they may be mean or cruel to others online. They are also significantly less likely to report being troubled if they are targets of cyberbullying. Knowingly we can make a conscience effort to discuss these scenarios. Creating that environment that promotes comfortability in having these tough conversations is a great place to start.

In efforts of saving you, your time and making this a short read, these are just some basic conversation starters, these are only five of the most basic tips we recommend, the list could go on for ever. We encourage you to tackle this conversation before the school year end nears. The team here at Mazzzing is always open to answer all questions pertaining to internet security. Our main goal is to create an atmosphere where parents and children feel safe and secure. Cluo was crafted from the notion that not all internet users have a computer science degree, nor do they need to, we take the security management off your back so you and your families can browse worry free.

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