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Safer Internet Day: 5 tips for staying safe online

Safer Internet Day 2022 is celebrated across the globe to remind everyone of the importance of taking greater precautions when surfing the Internet. One of the most vulnerable groups are children who access the web every day, often without adult supervision. From video games to social networks, all platforms and applications can be a gateway for cybercriminals.

Check Point Software is warning of the dangers to which children are exposed when they go online and stress that it is everyone’s responsibility to educate them and give them the right tools to surf the Internet safely:

  • Create fun and safe passwords: There are many passwords that children must think of to access social networks, games and other platforms, and not creating them with the right characteristics can put them at risk. Children are the most web-savvy, having been born into an online world, so they must learn to create strong passwords capable of protecting them:
  • It should be a combination that only they know and for this they should never use personal data such as birthdays, age or the names of known players, as this is very easy to find out.
  • Think of something that is going to be difficult to guess and never share it with anyone.
  • If you see that any IoT device or App comes with a default password, it is essential that you change it, otherwise it can be very easy to breach.
  • The best passwords should be different for each platform and should always be long, with different characters, symbols and numbers.
  • Use access codes: if you have a tablet or mobile phone, you should always have an access code that restricts any attempt to enter. This way, if a child leaves a device in a public place, it will prevent anyone from entering and obtaining all the data it stores.
  • Always update: more and more games and apps can be installed on mobile devices and computers which are fun and can be played with friends online. They have a dark side, however, especially if they are free: sometimes free apps hide viruses or malware that can infect all the devices connected to the same network. Updating when necessary is essential because it will apply security solutions against new threats and new viruses.
  • Don’t click without thinking: The first thing to know is that “phishing” means tricking someone into clicking on a link that will do something bad on your device. To avoid falling into the trap of this attack you should only open emails from people you know, never click on a link it contains and always check that it is not infected before opening any file or image attachment.
  • Beware of strangers on the net: there are now many video games or social networks that allow you to have a conversation with other people who are part of the online world. Although you may think that they are children or young people like everyone else, nothing can be certain. So, if you don’t know the online gamers personally, it is best to avoid any kind of conversation, even if there is a screen in between, they can be just as dangerous as in real life.

“The Internet is a part of many of our daily activities, so it is essential to protect the youngest members of the household against any kind of danger online and to take every precaution by training them thoroughly in all aspects of cybersecurity. When they are online, they should only talk to people they know in real life. They need to know that sharing personal information online is a danger and to only click on links in known emails. Children should also make sure that their passwords are hard to guess and that regularly updating them always brings advantages and a higher level of protection”, saysIan Porteous, Regional Director, Security Engineering, UK&I at Check Point Software.

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