Tips to Protect Your Child’s Privacy and Security Online

In an age of always-connectedness and widespread adoption of smartphones, tablets and laptops, “more kids can use a smartphone than can tie their own shoes”. Shocking, right? We believe that securing your child’s online privacy and security begins at home. Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your kids without taking the fun out of the web.

  1. Teach them computer smarts. Media literacy can prepare your child for the barrage of advertising they’ll encounter online. Organizations like MediaSmarts offer free tips and resources on talking to your kids about everything from cybersecurity, online bullying and gender representation. Ask your child’s school if media literacy is part of the curriculum.

  2. Use a VPN. Until recently, this technology was reserved for government organizations and big businesses to secure online information. Now, VPNs are ready-to-use at home and encrypt all Internet traffic. In addition, you can browse the web anonymously and prevent websites from monitoring your family’s moves online. Try SurfEasy VPN on your family’s smartphones, tablets and computers or plug the Private Browser into your computer’s USB port for safe, family-friendly web surfing on every gadget they use.

  3. Read privacy policies. We’re all to blame when it comes to quickly scanning privacy policies or worse, blindly accepting them. When it comes to the websites and applications your kids frequent, it’s a good idea to read the policies carefully. If you don’t like what you read, there’s likely a multitude of similar options with policies you can stand behind.

  4. Don’t stop at your family’s PC. Smartphones, tablets and game consoles with Internet access require the same attention as PC’s when it comes to securing your child’s online privacy. One example is multiplayer online games that let your kids play with anyone around the world. Be sure they’re not sharing more than what is necessary to play the game. Check to make sure that your child’s mobile devices are not set to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks, which are a hotbed for identity thieves and hackers.

  5. Never talk to strangers. This rule applies on and off line. Kids should never share their names (real or online aliases), location details, photos, videos or other personal information. Sharing photos with friends and family is okay but it’s a good idea to remind them of what is appropriate to share – and what is not. Pictures live online forever so it’s never too early to keep their digital life in check.

  6. Check their privacy settings on social networks. Make sure their social profiles are private so posts, photos and videos are visible to friends and family only. It’s a good idea to review the settings frequently as social networks update their policies regularly and the default settings may put their privacy at risk.

  7. Check where your kids have been. A browser’s history is a wonderful thing when it comes to knowing what your kids do online but it’s not a silver bullet. Teens are more likely to delete the browsing history but hey, if it’s empty, that should signal they’re trying to hide something.

  8. Limit access. As an administrator on your home network, you can change security settings, browse all files on the computer and limit your kids’ access to websites you don’t approve of.

For more information about how SurfEasy VPN can protect your family’s online privacy and security, visit

By Adam

July 22, 2013