Like every year around this time, parents and children throughout Spain shed tears at the arrival of the dreaded return to school. While the youngest ones suffer the end of vacations and the return to studying, parents feel it mostly in their wallets due to the purchase of school supplies (and all of this without adding uniforms and other expenses, of course).
But it’s important to remember that in a fully interconnected world like the one we live in, minors are exposed to all kinds of risks if proper precautions aren’t taken. That’s why we want to give you several cybersecurity tips, aimed at both parents and children, to ensure a smooth return to school without complications.
Be very careful with the passwords you use
It’s a classic piece of advice that’s given from time to time, but many still make the same mistakes. When creating passwords on websites, make sure they are at least 10 characters long and include a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and other symbols.
Additionally, use a different one for each website (Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome can save them for you, no worries), and never use real data, such as your date of birth.
Now, if you want to not worry about this whole process, you can use LastPass, a program that will allow you to generate secure passwords with the characteristics you want, in addition to saving them with complete security.
Make sure no one accesses your computer
You may have had to use programs like AnyDesk at some point in your life, which allow you to connect to another PC (or have someone connect to yours) to perform technical support and various repairs without having to be physically present in front of the computer.
Well, if you haven’t used it in a while, uninstall it just in case. And if you start using it again, only share the security key with trusted individuals. While it’s a very secure program, you never know who might peek into your files, your email, or even other more sensitive data (including that of your own children).
Create a second profile on your computer just for social networks
At this point, virtually all teenagers have accounts on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and other social networks. Beyond the time restrictions that many parents impose on their children’s usage, it’s important to ensure that they can only access these platforms with your permission.
One simple way to do this is by creating a second profile on your PC exclusively for accessing social networks and securing it with a password only you know. This way, if they have restricted access to social media, they can only access them through this second computer profile, and only when you allow it.
To create a second profile, go to Start > Settings > Accounts > Family & other users. Then, under Other users, select Add someone else to this PC, enter the person’s Microsoft account information, and follow the prompts.
Avoid (and detect) fake scam websites
No matter how little time you spend on the internet, you’ll know that there are people in this world who only want to take advantage of others by deceiving them and stealing their personal data (or even their money). Most fake websites will come to you in seemingly legitimate emails, or you might even see them as Google search engine marketing (SEM) results.
Before clicking on a link, hover your mouse over it and check the destination address. Whether it’s a somewhat “strange” address or you suspect its authenticity, search the domain on Google (without actually visiting it) and investigate its reputation on websites like SafeWeb.
In any case, if you want to make your internet browsing as secure as possible, we recommend using a VPN like NordVPN. It allows you to surf the web without risks and offers a range of wonderful advantages, such as accessing content that may be blocked in your country.
PayPal and Google Wallet are your best friends for online payments
Paying through PayPal, Google Wallet, or other services eliminates the need to enter your bank details each time. Additionally, both PayPal and Wallet have sophisticated anti-fraud controls and can help you recover your money in case of a scam.
On the other hand, regardless of how you pay, we recommend using a prepaid card or a debit card linked to a spending account for online purchases. It’s not wise to use your primary card for online shopping.
Some of the links added in the article are part of affiliate campaigns and may represent benefits for Softonic.