January 28, 2020 | HTC None of us can imagine life without the Internet since we use it for work, for shopping, for entertainment, and to stay connected to all our friends and family. Unfortunately, just as its capabilities have expanded since its inception in the early 90s, so have all the scary things that can happen while using it. There are hackers trying to steal personal and financial information, stalkers who pose dangers for our youth, scammers who will do anything to make a buck, and just a whole lot of stuff our kids don’t need to see. The dangers of the Internet are so real that February 4th has officially been deemed Safer Internet Day – a perfect time to learn how to protect our privacy and our families while using the Internet. 5 Tips for Safer Internet Usage Here are a few ways to start using the Internet more responsibly. Set Parental Controls. There are lots of ways to keep your kids from seeing, sharing and purchasing inappropriate and dangerous Internet content on their devices. On Apple’s website, you’ll find instructions for setting content and privacy restrictions, preventing purchases, restricting Siri searches and more. Talk About Good Social Media Habits. Kids need to be told what to share on social media, but parents need to be just as careful. Make it clear that no one should ever provide a home address or phone number on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, and discuss how to change privacy settings to all accounts so only accepted Friends can see your posts. Protect Your Computers. If you don’t have anti-virus software installed on your desktops and laptops, you’re pretty much asking for trouble. The software will give you warnings about potentially dangerous sites and require you to verify downloads. Know What NOT to Click. Whether you’re using data on your smart phone or you’re connected to your home Internet service, it’s always best to avoid pop-up ads that look suspicious or to take those surveys that tell you which celebrity you look like, what you’ll look like in 30 years, etc. Most of the time, those are just ways to get your information stolen. Change Passwords Often. Your home Internet router comes pre-encrypted with passwords, but it’s always best to change those defaults for your safety. Choose a password that’s not easy to guess, and only share it with family and visitors you trust. You should also change passwords to your email and social media accounts often since hackers can easily figure them out. HTC Can Help Protect Your Privacy For only $5.99 per month, HTC offers SecureIT Web Security software that covers one computer and one mobile device, keeping your personal information private and even monitoring what type of content is available to surf. Just ask us about our Protection Package for the following benefits: Password keeper SecureIT Web security & anti-virus Safe surfing Anti-theft for phone or tablet Parental controls Unlimited virus removals 5 GB file backup Harrisonville Telephone Company is a provider of reliable, cost-effective Internet (for streaming, gaming, surfing, viewing, listening, downloading, and more), television (hundreds of channels, free HD, VOD access and more), and phone (unlimited local and long distance, voicemail, caller ID, etc.). Want to learn more about our great home or business bundles? Visit our website, call us at 939-6112, or fill out our Contact Us page. We look forward to hearing from you.