Internet for Kids – Parental Controls

The Internet is a scary place for kids and a constant worry for their parents. Inappropriate content, predators, and malware lurk around every corner. It is critical that we teach our kids how to use the Internet safely as well as equip our computers with necessary safeguards. First we will cover some foundational security information, then we will delve into tools and settings to help secure the Internet for kids.

Consumers Union found that households containing people under 18 had a larger propensity to being infected with malware. The following situations can easily occur:

  • A child might post on Facebook that the family is going on vacation
  • Children download apps without understanding the hazards or reading the reviews
  • Younger kids may click on links within email, without thinking about the risks
  • Not downloading copyrighted material needs to be taught to minors
  • Popup warnings from security software are usually ignored

Educating Your Kids

The most important element in creating a safe place for your kids to use the Internet is Education. No piece of software or hardware can replace teaching your kids right from wrong, and candidly discussing all the bad topics that can be found on the Internet.

Some topics parents should cover:

  • Do not reveal your passwords
  • Use social networking safely
  • Do not reveal too much personal information
  • Beware of online fraud

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Free Security How to: Computer Security, Computer Protection on Macintosh

Apple MacBook Notebook Laptop

We begin our coverage of Macintosh security with this article. Next, we cover Free Security How to: Computer Security, Computer Protection on Macintosh Security Software.

Security is one of the most important parts of owning a computer. While Mac OS X has been safe in the past, Apple continues to gain market share resulting in hackers and virus writers making more attempts to break into the Mac. 2012 was even more dangerous for Mac OS X, the Mac Defender attack woke up Mac users, and no longer can Mac users peruse their computer without fear of attack. 2012 included several more widespread incidences.  It is important to take a few precautions to protect your information and personal data.

This article will focus on what steps you can take to lock down your Mac to protect yourself. The good news? Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 is a more secure operating system. For most Mac users, many of the steps in this tutorial may be considered unnecessary to protect them from hackers and virus attacks, but if you are security conscious and require access to the Internet from an unprotected or questionable wireless network then some of these steps may just save your Macintosh from being a victims of a major attack.

Apple has a security configuration page with specific security settings for different versions of Mac OS X. Be warned that many of their security tweaks are complex and  require command line input. The NSA has a shorter guide on how to secure Mac OS X. This guide also has some security tweaks requiring command line input or more detailed changes than some owners would feel comfortable doing like setting up a firmware password.

Recent Macintosh Malware Outbreaks

Flashback Trojan – March 2012 – This piece of malware infected hundreds of thousands of Macintosh’s through a security hole in Java. Apple was too slow to put out an update to Java.

SMSSend Trojan – December 2012 – New malware which sent out expensive SMS messages.

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