With so many unscrupulous things happening on the internet it is important to protect your kids and family.

Back when most of us were growing up, the internet was still new. Most of us only had limited internet access at home and at school. When I was 18 years old, my summer job as a telemarketer was to cold call people and conduct a survey on “whether or not they had heard of the Internet”. Wow how times sure have changed! You would have to be living in outer space to not know what the Internet is (although by now I am sure that aliens have even heard of it).

Back then there was no real need for strict parental controls – because the Internet did not really exist.  These days even if you aren’t looking for bad things, they somehow find you online. Whether it’s pornography, online stalkers, XXX websites, hackers, cyber criminals…the list just goes on and on. What happened to normal bank robbers who covered their faces with black ski masks, or strangers offering you candy from their windowless vans? The threats are much larger and greater these days.

One of the main ways to protect your kids from the potential online dangers is to have a good security system in place. At home we use alarm systems and lock our doors. For computers we need to install special software.  Norton by Symantec recently came out with a new consumer security product, the Norton 360 Multi-Device which has five patented layers of protection that detects and eliminates threats more quickly and accurately than other technologies.

The Multi-Device comes with parental control management which not only allows us as parents to track which websites our kids visit, but also block access to inappropriate and unsuitable ones. This is especially important to those of use with young children who are just starting to explore the internet – who knows what bad sites they might stumble upon.

I definitely don’t want my children on some adult website discovering the “birds and the bees”, or being lured into joining terrorist organizations, or meeting child molesters!! Norton’s parental controls management system allows us parents to keep an eye on our kid’s social network activities, monitor who they are chatting with online and manage the amount of time they spend online.

In addition to all the other social media platforms out there, almost everyone these days has a Facebook account. Even my little boys have their own accounts that I created. According to recent findings from the Norton Cybercrime Report 2012, there has been an increase in “new” forms of cybercrime found on social networks like Facebook. As parents we need to take precautions to protect our family’s information. The Norton 360 Multi-Device has a special application for Facebook (Norton Safe Web for Facebook) that scans your news feed and identifies any risky links, such as phishing sites, dangerous downloads or unsafe external sites.  All the scanning is done behind the scenes so you don’t even know it’s happening until there is a potential threat (all you have to do is enable this feature).

The best part of the Norton 360 Multi-Device is that it allows you to have Norton protection for multiple devices all in one place, and it allows you to use one single key to activate protection across all of your devices. It also has a cloud-based management console that allows us as parents to have control of all of our family’s devices from anywhere – all you need is the internet.

Here are some great tips from Norton for keeping your family safe: 

  • Use a comprehensive security system on your computer which allows for parental control tools.
  • Talk frequently to your children about what websites they are visiting, who they are instant messaging and emailing
  • Discuss any weird or unusual experiences they might have encountered online.
  • Stay up to date on your kid’s online activities and the latest popular sites they might be visiting (new social media sites)

Establish simple internet “do’s and don’ts” and safety rules.

  • Limit your kid’s internet time.
  • Instruct your kids not to instant message, chat with or email strangers
  • Instruct your kids not to share personal information online where strangers can see (such as social networks)
  • Advise your kids on what types of websites to avoid
  • Make sure they know that they should tell you if something weird or unexpected happens

There are a lot of bad people lurking out there – now it’s not just in your small neighborhood, but worldwide! We need to keep our kids safe and Norton is here to help us.


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