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By 25 October 2011 | Categories: news

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As much as the internet is a brilliant place to gather information, it does have its shady corners filled with characters trying to steal your information. To this extent it’s important for both adults and children to be vigilant online. Computer security company Symantec has a number of important tips and methods for keeping children safe when surfing the net, while also avoiding online scams.

Dealing with spam

Kicking things off is the annoying problem that is spam, which is still an enormous global problem as an estimated 70% or more of the world’s email is spam. Even though a user’s ISP (internet service provider) or email provider should be cleaning up most of it, some of what your child might see in the inbox might be spam.

Possibly dangerous and certainly icky, spam can contain language and images that are inappropriate and upsetting for children to see. Worse still is that they may contain dangerous links that might infect a PC with just a click of the mouse.

Symantec stated that you must show your child how to set up spam filters. For younger children, review their incoming messages to delete the bad stuff.

Avoiding scams

This Halloween, you can set your kids on the right, well-lit path when it comes to internet safety, especially when it comes to the problem of online tricksters. Some of the most common scams that trick children are pop-up ads that:
  • Promise you can easily win great prizes like a tablet or gaming console
  • Claim to detect viruses on your computer and offer to clean them
  • Offer to speed up your computer

Many of these scams may lead to infected PCs, stolen private information as well as identity theft.

Mobile phishing

Symantec is also seeing mobile device–phishing and spam that appeal to children. These “smishing” or SMS phishing messages might sign them up for expensive mobile services, or request private financial information to get enrolled in a “contest.”

According to the recent Norton Cybercrime Report, 10% of adults in the world have already been a victim of mobile cybercrime and children can easily fall for any of these tricks, and share their parent’s credit card details or their own personal information. Keep this from happening by showing them not to click on unexpected messages, to block unwanted contacts, to use passwords and to install mobile security like Norton Mobile Security.

Top tips for staying safe online:

1.    Be careful what you click on, stick to well-known internet sites and use search ratings tools like Norton Safe Web to avoid going to dangerous websites.

2.    Teach your child never to respond to spam and to delete unwanted messages.

3.    Use security software on all PCs and increasingly on mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets.

4.    Set up passwords that are unique as well as complex and make sure your children share them with you but no one else.

5.    Talk to your child about internet scams, misleading advertising and other online tricks you know to avoid but they may not.

In related news also recently launched Norton Internet Security 2012 and extended its Norton Everywhere initiative.

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