Yes, it’s awkward. But the time has come to have “the talk” … the talk about “dangerous celebrities” and safe surfing with your kids.
We know there are some warped individuals out there whose idea of fun is harmful, and without boundaries. Celebrity sites have increasingly become the target of hidden malware and online scams. Cybercrime has found a new playground where they hide their poisoned code for unsuspecting visitors, many of whom are kids. Our kids.
The lure of reading the latest scoop on a big name celeb proves irresistible. Our kids think they’re visiting a site with pics and details about someone currently popular, someone all their friends will be talking about. Right now, Jimmy Kimmel is at the top of the hit list with chances being one in five that a website linked to him will be laced with a nasty gift that will keep on giving: spyware, phishing, spam, adware, viruses etc. One quick click is all it takes.
There is no turning back the clock on technology. Our kids live in the same online, interconnected world that we do. Protecting them means shielding them from harm but not from the truth. Not only do we need to become more aware and vigilant, but we need to teach kids the same skills to protect themselves, because we can’t always be with them. And they won’t always tell us where they’re going.
McAfee has some helpful starting points parents can work with on their blog. These include:
- Commit to having ‘the talk’: explain how downloads of photos and videos are at high risk of containing bad stuff like viruses
- Breaking news = red flag: don’t be tempted by the bait of some exciting new celebrity gossip. That’s what cybercriminals are banking on. Literally.
- Protect your devices and identity: Don’t use any device online without protection. That means installing anti-virus/anti-malware programs on all computers, tablets, phones. Choose what’s right for you and your budget.
- Stay on the main road: If you want to see something online, use YouTube or Vimeo so you don’t have to download. Because if it says “free download” beware of what else comes with it.
- Get a sneak peek: when you hover over a link, you can see the URL appear. If the name in the URL is just a bunch of gibberish, or spelled incorrectly, walk away
- Don’t log in or provide personal information: have a standing rule that kids ask before they open any attachment or link. Because that click can lead straight to the lion’s den.
- Put a PIN on it: teach your kids how to set up and use passcodes, and make sure you know what they are.
You can click on the link here to read more. http://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer/dangerous-celeb.
The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” takes on new meaning when you think of just how much we love our kids, and how far we would go to protect them. Their safety is everything. While we may wait to have that “other talk”, don’t put this one off.