Home Security Includes Virtual Security

The advent of the internet has been a boon for businesses, consumers, and families. It makes the world smaller and more accessible, makes shopping easier, makes information more accessible. In short, it connects you to the world around you at the click of a button, from the comfort of a living room chair or the desk in your office. It also changes home security, as getting into your home, in a figurative sense, has gotten easier as well. We do not need to fear the dangers of technology, however. We just need to adapt to deal with them. Taking stock of your virtual home and family security is an important step in establishing a complete home and family protection plan.

Some Basic Tips for Virtual Security

Your computer is your property, part of your home. You may have private documents or simply treasured memories stored their, but you should protect it as you do the rest of your home. Make sure your computer has antivirus software and firewall technology to prevent hackers from gaining access to your hard drive and stealing information. All antivirus software needs to be continuously updated, so set your computer to automatically accept updates at a convenient time.

Make sure your internet browser is secure as well. Internet sites can run automatic programs that both place things on your computer and take things from it. An easy fix is to disable JavaScript for all sites except those you visit most regularly.

Never open spam, just delete it.

Stay away from anonymous peer-to-peer file sharing sites for music and video. Some of these sites can leave you incredibly vulnerable to having viruses or spyware implanted on your hard drive.

Stay up to date on internet scams and stay away from them. These can cost you lots of time, headache, and money.

Virtual Security for Kids

Kids are perhaps most vulnerable to the dangers posed by the virtual revolution. They are often more adept at navigating the internet than their parents, but they do not often have the judgment or presence of mind to know if they are putting themselves or the family at risk. As such, a parent’s main priority with regards to his or her child’s virtual security is to be vigilant and know what they are doing, as well as to establish a set of ground rules. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.

Be Informed. Stay up to date on trends such as social networking so that you are literate enough to fully understand potential dangers.

Make sure your kids are informed. Keep them aware of potential dangers and the seriousness of the internet.

Use parental controls available on your browser to restrict access to dangerous or inappropriate sites.
Do not let your children use a credit card number or give out their address, name, age or other personal information on the internet without your supervision. Do not let children enter chat rooms or create accounts on social networking sites without your permission and supervision.

Keep the computer in a common space in the house to monitor its use.