Thursday, March 13, 2008

Protect Your Kids Online by Not Relying Solely on Your Broadband's Parental Controls

When you sign up with high speed Internet providers, you have to be prepared to protect your children from the dangerous people who go online for immoral and illegal purposes. Kids are web savvy these days, and often make use of communities such as MySpace to communicate with their friends and share information, but that doesn't mean they don't need the watchful eyes of a parent checking up on them.

The following are a few tips for protecting your kids when they go online:

1. Communicate with your kids. This is the best way to keep track of the online activities of your children. However, for younger kids communication is not enough. You'll need to set up parental controls and filters to monitor content. Children under 7 should be supervised at all times when online.

2. Don't sign your kids up for online accounts until they're in high school -- old enough to be more aware of the dangers online. If your teenager has an online account, make sure you can access it yourself to see who your child is talking to. This way you can nip problems in the bud before they develop into something more serious.

3. Set parental controls on your computer's Internet browser according to age, and frequently research the browser's history to see what sites your kids have been visiting. Talk to your kids about the sites they have visited so that they understand you care about their safety.

4. Limit the sites your kids are permitted to visit and set aside time periods when they can use the Internet at home.

5. Tell your kids never to give out personal information online, either to strangers or by filling out a form for a service. Don't allow them to sign up for services without asking you for permission first.

6. Older children will be more reluctant to share information with you. Exercise trust as much as possible, but never stop monitoring their activity. The safety of your kids is too important.

Always follow your gut when setting up parental controls for online surfing. While some DSL broadband providers like At&t and Verizon have decent controls, this simply is not enough. Every child is different, so you have to create limitations and boundaries according to the unique needs of your family. Every few months, sit down as a family and have a meeting about Internet safety. Allowing open dialogue to occur is the best way to foster trust between family members, especially for older children and teenagers.

If your kids are not afraid to approach you with problems and concerns, they will open up more and will be less likely to keep secrets from you. Although high speed Internet providers offer some level of parental controls, you really have to step up to protect your kids and their best interests.

It can be difficult to balance the personal privacy concerns of your children with the need to keep them safe, but it is possible to achieve a happy medium. High speed Internet providers may give you access to the online world, which offers children great resources, but safety is not a given. But if you use the parental control features available on most operating systems and Internet browsers, and continuously monitor your kids' online activity, safety will no longer be a concern.

If you feel this article was useful, you can find more information about high speed internet providers at

JessePreneur is a serial entrepreneur dedicated to helping consumers save money through the use of information on the internet.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Protecting Yourself On the Internet

It is quite often that someone in dire need of some computer help calls me up and states that their computer is no longer working. When I get there I find they have high speed internet connection with no security - This is security issues just waiting to happen...

Firstly let me just say, if you have a computer that you use on the internet then you must must must use a firewall. If you don't then not only will your computer start to go wrong, you also risk private data getting into the hands of hackers or worse. People can gain full access to your computer, install what they like, watch what you are doing, take your passwords, bank details and even identity.

So hopefully the above is enough to scare you into reading this article - and so it should.

Whilst the internet is a very valuable resource it is also a breeding ground for people who have nothing better to to than spy on you, force averts on you, try and hack your computer or create viruses that damage your data. There are different categories of nasties to watch for.

Hackers - These can be people or machines or bots programmed by people. They are they to try and access your computer. This could be to install something on there or steal your personal data. This is high risk and IMO one of the most important things to protect against.

Viruses - These range from annoying to devastating as far as your computer goes. These can be files that slow your computer down, download more malicious software or cause strange things to happen with your PC.

Spyware - This is where data is collected about what you do on the internet. This is generally used for sales and marketing purposes but can have darker objectives.

Adware - The lesser evil of this discussion but still annoying and potentially dangerous - do you have adverts popping up seemingly at random even after visiting trusted web sites? The chances are you are infected with adware.

Generally these evils will do no obvious harm to your computer and subsequently can often go unnoticed. The main tell tale sign that something is wrong is that that your super new computer that was really fast when you got is, has now slowed down to almost nothing. This is where you most likely have so many infections that you are overloading your machine.

So this is usually what I find when I visit people and they have a problem - so what can you do about this?

Well the first thing I would always advise is that a firewall be used. A firewall is something that stops programs accessing the internet unless you say it is ok. This will eliminate huge amounts of all the nasties listed above from even getting on your computer in the first place. There are some good free firewalls out there so get onto Google - there is no excuse.

The antivirus software will monitor what comes into and goes out of your computer and check for viruses as well as offer the option for a complete scan. Whilst there are premium antvirus programs there are also a couple of good free ones.

To resolve the adware and spyware issues you need to regularly scan your PC. These can be picked up, not only from unsecure computers but is also bundled into a lot of the so called "free" software. It's important to check this before downloading anything that claims to be free. It also is worth noting that some of these programs will stop working alltogether should the adware/spyware be removed.

So with the above you should be able to firstly prevent your system from failing and , secondly, solve the issue yourself if you are infected.

Hopefully this article will help someone out.

JBO Solutions supplies the UK with Computer Parts, Computer Components and accessories such as Computer Monitors.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Internet Security Software - Three Security Measures To Keep You Safe From Online Threats

As you are already aware, users such as yourself cannot live without the Internet anymore. The largest source of information online is also the largest source of danger for your computer which is why using an Internet security software can protect you and your computer from online threats. Whether it was intentional or accidental, everyone gets hit by problems with their computers and by using security software to protect yourself, you will be reducing the risks of that happening. Setting up a solid security for your computer and network may seem complicated but actually using only 3 simple security measures is more than enough to get you started.

Using a firewall for your home network is probably the most basic and most standard feature you need for your computer. This used to be optional but these days, it's mandatory as it is very hard for hacker to get through a firewall. As for you, you don't have to do much except install it since the setup will automatically be optimized for your needs after you finished the installation. You can use software from Norton or even Zone alarm and some routers even come with pre-installed firewalls so setting up a firewall has become very easy even for those of you that have no idea how it works.

The second software you should use is an antispyware software which is currently the most popular form of online threats right now. Such programs can be found free at Lavasoft and I strongly recommend using that one simply because it has the most up-to-date definition files. Although this threat is invisible, it can be very devastating since it will invade your private life on the computer and retrieve any sensitive data such as banking details or personal information without you having a single clue. It can even learn passwords you use on your computer to access various accounts.

Last but not least, when all lines of defense fail you should still keep an antivirus. Mcafee and Norton are currently the best on the market and you should not neglect that last security measure even if it occurs less frequently now. If you don't want your computer to crash and lose everything you should seriously consider having an antivirus because once a virus is active, it will destroy your computer faster than you having the time to pull the plug on the power. Now don't be scared, the antivirus is going to prevent this from happening if you have one.

Except for the antispyware, the other two security measures are used to prevent problems from happening on your computer as for the antispyware it's going to remove it after the files are installed. So you're probably wondering if there's a way to prevent spyware from being installed on your computer. The answer is yes and most antispyware offer that feature which will monitor your system and whenever a spyware is detected you will have the option of allowing it (if it's harmless) or delete it.

Finally, these are three simple security measure that can be very effective for your computer but also cost effective because most of these software can be found online for free. Of course if you decide to pay for the license you do get additional support and updates which is a good idea since hacker evolve continuously you may want to keep up to date or else you'll leave yourself open to online threats. You've already spent a few hundred dollars for a computer, why not spend a few minutes to find free or affordable software security software to make the investment worthwhile.

Learn to optimize your Internet security at by using the right Internet Security Software

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