When it comes to online safety, you can never be too careful.
This is especially true when you add kids and older relatives into the mix. Every year, families are taken advantage of online in startlingly high numbers. It’s important that you take the initiative to ensure your family’s online safety.
If you and your loved ones are separated, perhaps while on holiday or because of a long-distance move, the good news is you have options for keeping in touch. Thanks to technology, it’s never been easier to keep your loved ones close to you. However, you also have to be aware of the risks. In this guide, we’ll discuss the importance of being safe online as well as the best (and safest) way to stay in touch with your loved ones.
Why online safety matters
First, let’s talk about why online security is so important today. It goes without saying that criminals and hackers are always lurking online, but why would they target you and your family? They’re only targeting big businesses, right? In fact, cyber criminals are targeting anyone. They want to get their hands on as much sensitive information as possible.
While this internet is a great resource, it’s also a bit intimidating. Keeping in touch with loved ones shouldn’t mean you have to compromise your safety. Through malware and other harmful viruses, criminals can gain access to your important information such as your contact info, home address, or even bank login. From there, they can steal your identity or your money.
If your kids are online keeping in touch with loved ones, they might be even more at risk. A shocking 16% of parents allowed children three years old and younger to go online, and kids are especially vulnerable. Almost three in 10 parents allow their kids to use the internet without any restrictions or supervision, and this means they might also be releasing sensitive data.
While you should take action to educate yourself and your kids about the importance of being safe online, it doesn’t have to stop here. We’ll share the best and safest way to stay in touch with family without the risk.
The best video and chat app for families
There are a number of video and messenger apps out there that are free to use. Platforms like Skype and Facebook Messenger are easily available, but they might not be the safest.
First, these programs aren’t designed specifically for families. They’re challenging to use, especially for children, and they open you up to attack. In light of recent scandals about Facebook and privacy, it’s best to use caution when interacting with these social media websites.
The best alternative to these apps that don’t prioritize families is the Say Android App. This app is safe, ad-free, and is perfect for family members of all ages. It’s a small but powerful app, and you can use it to keep in touch with loved ones whether you’re at home or on the go.
Because Say is ad-free, your young ones only see what they’re supposed to see. There are no intrusive brand messages or controversial images. It’s a distraction-free, safe way to communicate with those you love. With both video, call, and text messaging, there are endless options for making those connections through meaningful communication.
Online family security best practices
Last but not least, let’s review some best practices for keeping your family safe online. Aside from using a trusted chat platform like the one above, there are more steps you can take to make sure everyone is being safe when they use a desktop computer or smartphone. Here are some tips for all ages:
- Create a strong password. Learn how to make a secure, strong password and update this password regularly. A weak password is an easy way to let criminals gain access to your information.
- Update often. Always keep your software and devices up to date. With each update comes more security patches which help protect you from unwanted data breaches.
- Be mindful. Be mindful of the data and information you put out online. Never share personal data on public profiles or with strangers.
- Remember, the internet is forever. Help kids understand that what they put on the internet is not temporary.
- Keep learning. Continue to educate yourself about staying safe online.