The Internet…
Convenience, Interaction,
Inspiration and What Else?

As the responsible adult in the family, here's what you need to do:

  • Always keep your computer's firewall turned on. It is usually found in your computer's Control Panel. This helps to protect against hackers.
  • Install an anti-virus programme and set it to update automatically. An up-to-date programme is essential as there are hundreds of new threats that are found daily. You can purchase the anti-virus from your ISP or online from security companies like Norton or McAfee.
  • Keep Your Operating System Up to Date. Computer operating systems are periodically updated to stay in tune with technology requirements and to fix security holes. Be sure to install the updates to ensure your computer has the latest protection.

And here's what you can do and also teach your kids to do, especially since they are the ones who are most likely to be downloading songs, movies and all sorts of files and freebies on the internet.

  • Avoid P2P sharing software. Unless you are technically savvy, you might end up downloading something that has a virus or keystroke logger attached.
  • Do not click on ads, especially those that promise big wins or scare you about something being wrong with your computer.
  • Delete unknown emails, especially those with attachments. Be wary of strange attachments from friends too, as they may be unwitting victims of viruses sending malicious code.
  • Be careful what you attach to your computer. It's easy these days to be sharing files using a USB stick, but you don't know what viruses are on your friends' computers and what got transferred to their stick. Many virus programmes will auto launch when the USB is put into the computer — you don't even need to download anything to be infected.
  • Avoid shady websites such as gambling or pornographic sites. You are likely to get infected with a virus or spyware when you visit these sites.
  • Create strong passwords for your online accounts and do not use the same password for different accounts. You can create a complex password by combining two words into a "nonsense" word, using a mix of letters, numbers and symbols, eg. fishface -> fI$hf4c3. Complex passwords make for better protection against hackers.
  • Be more cautious when using public internet hotspots. Do not log into online accounts or perform ecommerce transactions on public wifi networks.
  • Always log off from your online accounts before you close the browser tab.
  • Always turn off the computer. Not only does this save electricity/battery, it effectively severs an attacker's connection — be it spyware or botnet that employs your computer's resources to reach out to other unwitting users.