7 simple steps to protect your family's online privacy

Children have a great number of ways and reasons to be online; there is also an increasing number of internet-connected devices in our homes. With so much data travelling to and from our homes, protecting our family’s privacy online has never been more important.

Thanks to Trend Micro, follow these seven and keep your family safe online:

1. Understand what you’re saying yes to
2. Use privacy settings and features in browsers and devices
3. Use app and website features
4. Go through this with your kids
5. Remember life online is public
6. Talk to other families
7. Check-in regularly

Understand what you’re saying yes to. Be involved, knowledgeable, and interested in the devices, apps, and sites they use for school and for fun. 

For resources used at school, ask their teachers for more information. For apps they’re using at home, spend a few minutes trying it out yourself. And ask your kids to tell you about them, too! This not only shows that you are interested, but that you are willing to learn – and most kids will be happy to teach you what they know.

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Use privacy settings and features in browsers and devices. Most browsers allow you to prevent sites from tracking what you do and where you go online (most commonly used for advertising purposes), so spend some time looking at web browser settings (Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.) to see what privacy setting options are available to you. 

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Use features and services available within an app or website. Once you’ve set up privacy controls at the browser or device-level, take a look at the privacy settings available in the specific apps, websites, or games your family uses. Instagram, Snapchat, and most major social networking sites let you have a private account, which means the whole world won’t be able to see what you post or who you’re connected to. It also means that people have to ask your permission before they can follow you.

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Go through this with your kids. If you're learning these things for the first time, take the opportunity to learn as a family. Review privacy settings with your children so they understand their options for keeping what they do online as safe as possible.

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Remind your kids that being online is a public life. Remember, nothing is truly private online. By keeping this in the back of your minds, you can filter what you post, like, and click on, as well as who you connect with online.

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Talk to other families. ave you ever found a photo online of your children shared without you knowing? One of the biggest challenges regarding privacy issues online is each family will have a different definition of “private.”

Encourage your kids to talk to their friends about how they will respect each other’s privacy online. Good friends will understand. In the most basic terms; think and ask before posting a photo or information about their friends. Talk to other parents about your feelings on privacy, too, and ask them for their opinions. The more we all know, the more we can all protect and respect each other’s privacy online.

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Check-in regularly. Do your best to stay connected, involved, and interested in what is going on in their lives. You can simply make it a topic of conversation during family dinner or car rides...or friend and follow your children on Instagram or Snapchat and be part of their online world.

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Life Education has been endorsed by the eSafety Commissioner as a Trusted eSafety Provider

Life Education has been endorsed by the eSafety Commissioner as a Trusted eSafety Provider (see esafety.gov.au for more information).


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