How to protect your child’s computer from viruses
We’ve teamed up with Internet Matters to show you how to keep your child and their first laptop safe online…
18 Jul 2018
Be careful of downloads
Kids love the freedom of surfing the world wide web – independent access to information, movies, music and more.
But while it can be fun it also has its risks. Downloading content can be a fast track for viruses and spyware to sneak onto your child’s computer. Particularly if they’re sourcing movies and music from illegal sites to avoid download fees.
Keep them safe by:
- Warning them of the risks of file sharing and opening emails from unknown sources
- Ensuring software updates are run regularly on your child’s laptop
- Investing in antivirus software
Set Parental Controls
Most laptops will let you set parental controls – letting you decide what content your child can access and how long for. Do this before handing over the computer to your child, so you can create a safer space for them to explore the web.
Watch child internet safety charity Internet Matters' video on setting parental controls for Windows devices. If your child's laptop doesn't run Windows, you can check out how to do it on Chrome and Apple operating systems too.
Make them risk aware
Talking to your child about the risks of the internet pays dividends in the long run. This involves teaching them what websites to avoid, to stop them stumbling across any inappropriate adverts or videos.
Make them aware that not all download sites are legitimate. Otherwise they could be illegally downloading content without realising it.
Illegal activity is monitored online and – if your child is caught – you as the guardian will be at risk of legal action. Illegal sites are also insecure and more likely to contain viruses and malware.
Keep them safe by:
- Pointing them to secure sites – like iTunes and Amazon – give them a gift card to avoid racking up huge credit card bills
- Researching the sites they are visiting to make sure they are trustworthy
- Checking their browser history – remember, no history at all could be a sign of suspicious activity
- Using antivirus software to scan email attachments from unknown sources
Need a little more advice? Read through Internet Matters' guide on downloading and viruses
Be careful of malware
Malwares are malicious software that causes harm through obtaining personal information. It sneaks onto computers in the same way other viruses do.
The number of young people being exposed to explicit images or videos or becoming victims of hacking because of malware is on the rise.
What should you do? Here’s what Internet Matters advises:
- Agree digital boundaries together – so they know what is and isn’t acceptable online behaviour
- Keep an active interest in their digital life – so you can step in with support and guidance
- Make it a safer space – with controls and privacy settings
- Build their digital resilience – by giving them the tools to make smart choices
- Keep the conversation going – so they’re confident to tell you if they have a problem
Currys PC World are proud supporters of Internet Matters, an organisation committed to helping parents keep their children safe online. Internet Matters offer the best advice and information available to parents, to make their children’s online life fulfilling, fun and above all safe.
Visit: https://www.internetmatters.org/ for more information.