The Internet can be a dangerous place for both adults and children. Even though children are more vulnerable, the Internet can open the doors to identity theft and many other issues. For this reason, Internet protection software is an absolute must for every computer in your household. If you don’t take the proper steps to protect yourself and your children from predators, you could be setting your entire family up for difficult times ahead.
What Is Internet Protection?
In a nutshell, Internet protection is anything you can do to prevent something bad from happening to your computer, yourself or your children. For many people, this means using Internet virus protection, but there is so much more than that. For instance, you need to protect your computer from spyware, which can be as harmless as detecting your activity to target ads to your computer or as vicious as stealing your log-in information to tap into your bank account or other seemingly private information. In addition, good protection will also prevent your children from accessing websites of objectionable or obscene content or to help protect them from exploitation.
The Child Internet Protection Act
In 2000, Congress enacted the Child Internet Protection Act to take vital steps to ensure child protection online, especially when they are using computers away from home, such as at schools or libraries. According to this act, institutions that receive a discount on Internet services or internal connections through the E-rate program must block or filter inappropriate content in order to prevent children from accessing it. This can include:
- Child pornography
- Obscene pictures
- Images that are harmful to children in any way
Schools must take additional steps, such as monitoring students’ Internet usage and providing them with education on the proper use of the Internet, as well as information on cyber bullying and similar online dangers. The goal is to make sure children can safely use the Internet to learn and interact with their peers.
Internet Protection for Kids
Children often do not have the judgment necessary to ensure they can fully protect themselves online. No matter how much you talk to your children about safe online practices, by instructing them not to provide personal information or to talk to anyone who makes them feel uncomfortable, children can easily be lulled into a false sense of security that can spell trouble. To provide the best protection for your children while they are online, make sure you know how to use your computer’s filtering software. This will allow you to control what your child can access online. You could also use Internet Explorer’s Protected Mode, or a similar feature or plugin on your browser of choice. When you take steps to monitor what your children can see online, you place safety nets that will help them stay on the right path.
One of the biggest issues individuals encounter with the Internet is spyware. This software may be used for advertising purposes, or it could be even more malicious. In any case, it can slow down your computer and put you at risk for identity theft and other issues. For this reason, having a spyware removal tool as part of your Internet protection package is an absolute must. Running this tool on a regular basis, whether weekly or biweekly, will allow you to keep your computer running better and to protect yourself from potentially malicious software that could result in stressful, time-consuming problems.
The Best Internet Protection
If you have a computer at home, it is important to take all the steps you can to make sure your information and your browsing is safe from prying eyes. There are many products available that boast being able to protect your computer. Some of them are free, while others are more expensive. Not all of them will provide the same level of protection, but it isn’t so much the cost you should be looking at. Using a website like Consumer Search can help you determine which products will provide the best protection for your needs and your budget. They offer lists of antivirus software and full Internet security suites for both computers and mobile devices, giving you the level of protection you need.
Online Safety Tips
In addition to using the proper Internet protection tools, there are other things you can do to make sure you and your family are safe online. These tips will help you safely navigate the Internet:
- Be careful about the pictures you choose to share and who you share them with.
- Never share your passwords with anyone.
- Cut off contact with anyone who makes you uncomfortable.
- Check for https:// before making a purchase on any site.
- Never leave sensitive sites, such as banks and email addresses, logged in.
Children and adults need to take the proper steps to make sure they are protected online. While adults are less likely to become victims of predators, there are still many negative events that can happen online, such as hacking and identity theft. Staying safe online is important for everyone. However, as adults, it’s more important for parents and others who are in charge of children to help youngsters learn how to use the Internet safely, and to provide them with valuable Internet protection. There’s no reason to leave yourself vulnerable to attack just because you use a computer.