The power of the Internet is measured by its ability to allow users to exchange valuable information and connect people from all over the world. Through simple search engines, users can easily access the content they need. On the other hand, social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, enable users to communicate, meet new friends, and share information with others locally and across the globe.
Although these sites have their advantages, they also expose users—including more than half of all Filipino kids and teens who own their own computers and mobile devices—to several risks. According to a recent Trend Micro poll conducted among Filipino parents, most if not all of them acknowledge the importance of online security. However, less than half (44%) of the respondents are confident in their ability to secure their families from online threats.
The online poll, which surveyed 442 respondents from the Philippines, further revealed that parents’ top online safety concerns are computer viruses and malware (92%), malicious websites (90%), and sites with inappropriate content like graphic violence and pornography (84%). As precautions, Filipino parents said that they protect their kids and families by installing antivirus software on their computers and mobile devices as well as regularly updating their security software.
While online security software does its job in protecting kids and teens online, Trend Micro still advises parents and guardians to do their part in educating their children and families on how to use the Internet and social networking sites properly. Here are some of the best practices:
1. Post only what is necessary.
Always keep in mind that what you post online can be seen by anyone, even if you delete them. In some cases, anything posted online will stay online permanently via online caches. As a rule, do not reveal too much personal information when posting. People can use that information to stalk you or steal your identity.
2. Keep tabs on the sites you and your family visit.
Check if the sites you’re visiting are trustworthy. Screen the contents of each site to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for viewing. Review each site’s security policies and see if they’re asking for too much personal information.
3. Do not click links anywhere.
Not every link you see is safe. Verify each one before you clicking links in messages or wall posts, even those your friends send. Hackers can hack into your friends’ accounts and use those to send messages. Be wary of links leading to sites that are blocked by your computer’s firewall. Those sites can steal information once they’re accessed.
4. Lessen access from third-party apps and services linked to your social media accounts.
Third-party apps that have access to your social media accounts can view information that you or your contacts post. Social networks do not necessarily guarantee the security of the information posted on your profile, even when it is set to private.
5. Secure your passwords.
Use a unique, strong, and hard-to-guess password for each of your important accounts like email and online banking. Adding numbers, symbols, and mixed-case letters makes it harder for cybercriminals to guess your password. A password manager can also help you keep track of your passwords.
About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated a global leader in security software, rated number one in server security (IDC, 2013), strives to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Built on 25 years of experience, our solutions for consumers, businesses and governments provide layered data security to protect information on mobile devices, endpoints, gateways, servers and the cloud. Trend Micro enables the smart protection of information, with innovative security technology that is simple to deploy and manage, and fits an evolving ecosystem. All of our solutions are powered by cloud-based global threat intelligence, the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ infrastructure, and are supported by over 1,200 threat experts around the globe. For more information, visit TrendMicro.com.