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Today is Safer Internet Day. A day that is dedicated to increasing awareness of the dangers online. Mainly aimed at young children, it encourages parents to look into how their child uses the internet and the dangers different sites pose.

Internet safety is so important for everyone, regardless of age, and there are lots of different things you can do at home to make sure you don’t fall victim to a scam or malicious link. Take a look at our top tips below for adults and children!

For Adults

Enable two-factor authentication

To gain access to a system, users have to confirm their identity with two individual codes. One could be a password and the other could be a code generated by an authentication app. Also, it could be a code sent to a set phone number or email. Either way, the user has to enter two pieces of correct information in order to log in.

Don’t use public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is a breeding ground for data thieves. You can’t tell if a public Wi-Fi connection is safe and secure, so you should never enter your card details whilst connected. Ideally, you should be on a secure, private connection that you trust and you know who created it. If you must shop online whilst you are out and about, your regular mobile data will be safer than public Wi-Fi.

Look for the padlock

In the URL bar there should be a padlock next to the web address. This symbol means the site is secure but doesn’t always mean the seller is honest. Be wary if you don’t know who you are buying from, but always make sure that little padlock is sitting at the top of the page. Never enter your card details onto a site if you can’t see that symbol.

Don’t download attachments

We all get those spam emails with links you can download or asking you to click a link. Don’t do it! Unless you know where the attachment has come from and you know it’s safe, you should treat it as a dodgy attachment that could be carrying a virus.

Watch out for suspect apps

Ask.fm is known for cyber bullying as it encourages people to ask questions without revealing who they are. There have been several cases against Ask.fm over bullying claims, so always talk with your child if they are using this app.

Calculator%. It’s not a calculator; in fact it is a secret app that hides photos, videos and browser history. Simple to download, it looks like the normal calculator app and you can change the name of some apps depending on your phone, so always check and have an open conversation with your child about these hidden apps.

TikTok allows users who are thirteen years old. However, it doesn’t require age validation so you can download the app at any age. It also automatically sets the account to public so anyone can contact the user. If your children do have this app, make sure it’s set to private.

KIK is a direct messaging app that children can use to contact friends. This app is one to watch out for because it gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

For Children

Check age restrictions on apps

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Snapchat are all “suitable” for aged 13+ with parental consent. WhatsApp is 16+. You should always check age restrictions when downloading social media apps and make sure accounts are private. If you’re not sure, ask a parent or guardian.

Don’t meet people from online

You should never meet anyone you have only spoken to online. It’s really dangerous and you never know who they really are. If you are sure who they are, take a parent or guardian with you.

Don’t accept files

Computer viruses are usually spread when people click on suspect links, download images or open attachments from someone they don’t know. Make sure you only open content from your real friends.

Always tell someone

If someone sends you inappropriate content or tries to talk to you on an app that you use, always report it to an adult. It’s only fair that you can explore the internet safely, so it’s important that they know if something is happening when it shouldn’t be.

Make sure you stay safe online!

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