Put a Google Alert on your name so you can track what is being said about you online. Just go to google.com/alerts and type in your name in quotation marks. You will receive Google alerts via email when your name appears online. This is not a 100% guarantee but a great start to tracking your digital footprint.You can set a Google alert for your kids’ names as well.
Set strong passwords
A password can prevent someone from gaining access to your device and doing things like circulating your pictures or sending messages in your name. A good password or other form of authentication can also stop someone from hacking into your social networking accounts or changing passwords on your applications. Set the security settings on your device so that it automatically locks after a specific period of inactivity. Remember to use a difficult password; easy-to-guess passwords are less secure.Your children should understand that passwords should not be shared with their friends. While parents have a legitimate reason to know their children’s passwords, others do not.
Turn off most geo-tagging
Photos taken from most smartphones include a geotag - the exact location of where the picture has been taken. Think of it this way – if you take a picture of your child’s first day at school and share this picture or post it to your favorite social networking site anyone can find the exact location of where this picture is taken. To turn of geotagging – go to ‘camera settings’ on you smartphone and turn geo-tagging off.Ensure geo-tagging is turned off on your kids' smartphones.
Install security software
ome smartphones come with an optional service that will help you locate your phone if it’s lost. Take advantage of this free service and set it up or purchase one of the many similar applications. Security software on your mobile device can protect you if you erroneously download a malicious app or click a bad link
Privacy settings are configurable on almost every site and app where you can create a profile. Review them regularly.Sit down with your kids and check their profile settings on Facebook and other social media sites and ensure that they are set to the desired levels of privacy and security.
Keep your browser in check
The web browser is your gateway to the Internet and the first point of defence against malicious activity. Make sure you have the latest version of the browser installed and that it is configured to provide the desired levels of security and privacy. Also clear your browser history and cache at least once a month.
Be cautious in using Wi-Fi
Be careful about using “free” Wi-Fi in public places – it can be an easy way for hackers to access personal information. Stop and think about how secure the Wi-Fi might be before accessing it. Don’t share personal or financial information over an unsecure network unless you are confident.Teach your children about the risks of using open Wi-Fi in public places.
Choose applications carefully
Only purchase/download applications from your smartphone or service provider’s “app store.” Steer clear of applications that ask for access to data like your address books, picture gallery, etc. Rule of thumb: be wary of free applications. Often, free is too good to be true.Kids often don’t realize that the game “everyone is playing” on their phone comes in an ad-filled free version and to unlock it costs real money. Help your child understand what you’ll pay for and what is coming out of their allowance.
Be aware of risks of using Bluetooth
If you are using Bluetooth-activated devices, there is a risk of others accessing information with them. Only enable connections with trusted devices.Parents’ tip: Always switch your child’s Bluetooth device to “undiscoverable."
Save battery power
Manage your phone’s power consumption by turning off unneeded features and turning down adjustable features:
- Dim your screen
- Turn off Bluetooth when it’s not in use
- Turn off Wi-Fi when it’s not in use