Tips For Internet Safety & How to Protect Yourself Online

Let’s Talk About Internet Safety.

There are numerous advantages to using the internet when it comes to making purchases or even ordering services. Jobs are often found through the internet today, and many companies insist that you apply for a job online. Airlines and other companies offer discounts to those who order tickets online as opposed to using an agent. Needless to say, the internet has tremendous advantages for everyone.

You need to be educated about internet safety and be aware of scams, con games, and other online activities. You can use the internet safely if you can protect yourself. 

Internet safety means protecting yourself, your family, and your personal data. Once you are aware of all the online threats you are up against, you can safely take advantage of the internet for many different purposes. 

Internet Safety For Kids and Teens.

There are numerous advantages to using the internet when it comes to making purchases or even ordering services. Jobs are often found through the internet today, and many companies insist that you apply for a job online. Airlines and other companies offer discounts to those who order tickets online as opposed to using an agent. Needless to say, the internet has tremendous advantages for everyone.

You need to be educated about internet safety and be aware of scams, con games, and other online activities. You can use the internet safely if you can protect yourself. 

Internet safety means protecting yourself, your family, and your personal data. Once you are aware of all the online threats you are up against, you can safely take advantage of the internet for many different purposes. 

Internet safety for kids and teens

Most parents are worried about child safety online and have every right to be. There have been incidents of young people, mostly young girls, who have fallen for an internet predator pretending to be a boy or girl their own age. These incidents have made the news. Needless to say that many parents are concerned with their child’s safety when online. In addition, they also are worried about images and websites that are out there that they might not want their child exposed to. Fortunately, there are many ways that a parent can make the internet safer for their children.  

Young Children And Internet Safety

Parental controls will allow you to filter what your young child sees when they go online. Some sites are created for children to use where they can play games. Children can also find out information that they need to do homework when using the computer. There are three things that a parent needs to do when it comes to letting children younger than 13 on the computer:  

  • Learn to use parental controls
  • Teach their children about internet predators
  • Supervise the use of the computer 

Parental Controls

Just about every computer today is equipped with child safety features. These parental controls can block explicit sites and images from the computer when the child is using it. You simply set the parental controls to block these sites and images, and they will not allow the child in. You should have a password that you can use to access the parental controls that the child does not know. While younger children will not usually want to explore things that are off-limits, older children may be curious and want to go on sites that may not be for them.  

Today, many websites feature a safety feature that makes those who post images or text declare if it is explicit content. This feature is used on many sites, although not on all. As children get older, they want to go on Facebook or Instagram, or Twitter. These sites do not screen out explicit content. Parental controls can prevent a child from visiting these sites and setting up an account. You can even manage parental controls so that you block specific sites from the computer. Children younger than 13 have no business using social networking sites created for older children. They are not yet mature enough to realize the implications of putting personal information out there for the world to see.  

Parental controls are a great tool when it comes to keeping a child safe online. But they should not be the only tool that a parent uses.  


Teach your children about internet predators. 

Education is necessary for all young people who go online. The same education should also be used for adults. Those who prey on children online may not seem like child molesters. They do not hang out in adult chat rooms looking for kids. They go where children go – in their chat rooms and websites. And they pretend to be children. 

This is what makes it crucial for parents to educate their children when they are online and use parental controls. Parental controls may stop a child from entering an adult site, but there are plenty of sites online where kids can interact with one another. These are supposed to be for children only, and those who are adults and pose as children violate internet safety laws. However, it doesn’t stop adults from violating those laws.  

Educate your children about the fact that it is very easy for anyone to develop a false persona online. They can use fake photos of themselves and pretend to be whoever they want.  

Small children should not be chatting at all when they are online. They cannot understand the concept of someone pretending to be another person. Only allow your children to chat online when they understand the following:  

  • Anyone can pretend to be anyone they like online
  • That fake photos and names are often used online
  • Never to reveal any information about themselves
  • Never agree to send a picture of themselves to someone
  • Never agree to meet someone online 

This still does not protect your child totally from online predators. As anyone with children knows, they do not always do what you ask. It is therefore crucial for parents to not only use parental controls and education to keep their children safe, but also supervision.  


Do not let your kids use the computer unsupervised until they are mature enough to understand how to stay safe online. Children aged 13 or below should not be allowed to have computers in their rooms and should not be using them unsupervised. This does not mean that you have to be looking over your child’s shoulder the entire time they are online, but that the computer stays in the family living space of the home.  

Many parents feel that their children are free to roam around online because they have told their children about predators and have installed parental controls on their computers. They can enter chat rooms and go on forums where there are “moderators” for these sites. This is not true. Parents should not entrust their children to website “monitors” who may or may not be who they say they are.  

After children are old enough to have computers in their rooms and have a bit more freedom online, parents should still know what is going on. As they get older and prove to be more trustworthy when it comes to using the internet and personal choices that they make in their lives, you can loosen up a bit. But you should still watch their internet usage.  

Many young people who fall prey to internet predators do so because they are lonely and have few friends. They spend many hours in their rooms on their computers where they meet “friends.” It is important for parents not only to be supervisory of their children’s internet activities but also to watch how much time they are spending with their internet “friends.” Internet friends should not take the place of the real world. If a child spends all of their time on the computer and not participating in real-world activities, something is wrong.  

Parents should also remind their children, even older children, that anyone can be watching what they are doing online. While they may think that it’s fun to post pictures of themselves drinking at a party on their Facebook page when they are 17, it may end up coming back to haunt them. Remind kids that the internet is public domain. Anyone can see what they are up to on such sites, including college administrators and prospective employers. Kids do not often understand the repercussions that can occur from simply posting a picture of themselves online.  

Internet security is crucial for any parent. Ensure that you have adequate software that supports parental controls and that you also use education and supervision to make sure your kids are safe online.

Common Online Scams.

Many online scams compromise internet security. Many of these scams are simply newer versions of older ones used long before the internet was invented. They prey on your greed and desire for something for nothing. To protect yourself, it is better to be aware of these scams. Don’t think you are “above” being conned. Con artists claim that it is the easiest to con people who believe they can’t be conned.

The three most common scams that make people fall for on the internet are:

  • A con game
  • Phishing
  • Pharming

A Con Game

Con game stands for confidence game. Although this type of activity is not new, it has been around since before the dawn of time. The internet allows it to flourish. You have probably heard of the Nigerian Bank scam. This con is the largest online scam, and there are many variations. People continue to fall for the Nigerian Bank Scam despite repeated warnings and the fact that there are no internet security laws in Nigeria. This is why around one billion dollars per annum is lost annually.

This scam works like this: You receive an email from someone in Nigeria with a lot of money but can’t leave the country. They promise to send you $50,000 (this amount may change) if they receive $1,000 (this amount also varies) so they can leave the country. They cannot cash the check in Nigeria because it is drawn from an American bank. They want your help to get out of Nigeria.

They send you the check in good faith and ask you to send them money so they can leave Nigeria. The check is sent to you. You deposit the check into your account and send them the money to leave the country. The check is fake. Although it looks real, the check is usually a money order or cashier’s check drawn from a US bank.

You are out $1,000 by the time you realize the check is fake (after it bounces back to your bank, often bouncing all your checks), Or 10,000. Or even more. This scam has led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars by some victims.

This scam has many variations. These scams usually involve cashing checks for someone and then giving them some of the money. Sometimes, the Nigerian Bank scam may ask for half the money to send to Nigeria.

A variation of this scam is called the UK Lottery Scam. You get an email that you won the UK lottery, and they will send you a check. However, you must return half of the check for taxes.

Never fall for such online get-rich-quick schemes. You will lose your money, no matter how tempting the offer may seem.

Lonely people are also a target for confidence games on the internet. The old Lonely Hearts scam is still prevalent, but it has found a new life online. You will get a lot of women and men who write to you through a dating website. They may fall madly in LOVE with you. They will not be able to leave their home country. They will ask for money or plane tickets to be with you. This scam is commonly known as the “Russian Bride Scam”.

Never send money to anyone you have met online. Period


Although confidence games are not new, the internet has allowed old-fashioned con games to thrive and newer, more technical games to be created. Phishing refers to when someone requests information via email or any other type of online contact.

Con artists not only prey on loneliness and greed but also fear. Phishing works because it creates urgency, it instructs the victim to perform some action, or there will be consequences,

People who have been phished are often unaware that anything happened. It all happens so quickly. It usually begins with an urgent email. Your bank account was frozen. All checks have bounced. They suspect that someone has access to your account. Do you have a way to verify your password?

Sometimes, phishing may be used to obtain other information rather than a password. They might ask for your social security number or birthday. They can open accounts under your name using this information.

Don’t give information to anyone who contacts you via email. You should not provide this information to anyone, even if they are someone you know. It is possible that their account may have been compromised or someone has stolen information from their email list.

You should not open an email from someone you suspect is phishing. If you don’t have virus protection, you should not open an email from anyone you don’t know.

You should never give any personal information to anyone who contacts you by email.


Another term used in the world of internet con games is pharming. Pharming is a more sophisticated form of con game than phishing and other older forms. It requires a lot of technical skills.

Pharming begins with an email, as it does with most internet scams. It is claimed that the email comes from a company you trust. You are sent a link to a special offer. But it is not their website. Although it looks exactly like their website, it is a fake site created to look just like theirs. You will need to enter your username, PIN number, or password. As soon as you fill in this information, you have compromised your account. Your information will be accessed by the phony website and used accordingly.

What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?

In order to keep your internet security up to date and keep your computer in the best shape, you should do some maintenance on a regular basis:  

  • Delete cookies
  • Delete history
  • Re-configure the computer

Delete Cookies

On your internet toolbar, you will find an icon for internet tools. When you press on this icon, you will be given options on what you would like to do. You can delete cookies. Cookies are placed on some sites that you visit that will hold your password or other information. They are supposed to make things easier for you when you go online, especially if you frequent a certain site all of the time. Sometimes, cookies are placed on your system by sites without you knowing it for data purposes and usually to send you ads. You should delete cookies once a week from your browser.  

Delete History

You can also delete the past history of where you have gone online. This can help protect your internet security in case you do happen to have a virus that infects your computer and travels to where you last were online. You can delete your history on a daily basis. You use the same icon on the toolbar to delete your history as you do cookies. This does not affect sites that you have bookmarked as favorites on your browser. It takes a bit longer to delete history than it does to delete cookies. In addition to helping you with internet security, it will also make your computer run faster.  

Re-Configure The Computer

There should be a reconfiguring tool for your computer. This will reconfigure all of your files and compress them. You should refer to your computer manual on how to accomplish this. It normally takes several hours the first time you reconfigure your computer, although if you do this regularly, it will not take hardly any time at all. In addition to getting rid of corrupted files, it will also make your computer run faster by keeping all of the files together.  

You should also run a scan on your computer periodically to see if there are any problems with your system. If you have Norton Anti-Virus, you will be asked to run a scan for corrupted files on a regular basis. This can correct any problems with the computer, such as viruses, and also eliminate them. By understanding how to maintain your computer, you can keep it working properly and also keep it free from viruses that can cause it to crash.


The internet is a safe place to be if you understand how it works. The primary rules you need to know are the following: 

  • People can make up fake names and be anyone they want online take what they say with a grain of salt.
  • Have virus protection for your computer.
  • Do not fall for internet scams – remember, you never get something for nothing.
  • Update your computer with self-maintenance regularly.
  • Never reveal personal information such as your real name or where you live.
  • Teach your kids about internet safety.
  • Beware of whatever you put online – unless you don’t mind the whole world seeing.
  • When you shop online, use a credit card or Paypal account.
  • Keep your passwords in a safe place and never use the same password for everything. 
  • Never give out information through an email.
  • Never follow a link to a site and then put in personal information.
  • Don’t open emails from people you do not know.

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