Recently we have seen an increase in issues at home in relation to Online Safety, so I thought it best for us to make a quick guide for you to follow.
- Accounts: Have two or more user accounts. Make sure you have a “Parents” and “Kids” account. Be sure that the “Kids” account is not an administrator. Also be sure that you never tell them the “Parents” password as this defeats the purpose of having two accounts. This also prevents the kids from installing anything that they should not be installing. On some machines you can go to start/run then type in lusrmgr.msc to bring up the users and groups program to add users. You may need to google “How to add users for Windows XP” or something like that if you are unable to figure it out.
- Free Stuff: Torrents and Peer to Peer Sharing sites, try to stay away from these. Dont get me wrong, there is valid content on these systems but most of it is no good and can infect your computer. If there is something online for free, and you know its a pay for item (Movie, Music, App, Book, etc.) Stay away! It will only lead to heartache and cost you a lot of money in the end.
- Web Browsing Protection: This is a great way to block the “Nastys” from your computer. There is a basic way, and an advanced way. At my home, I use this – http://www.opendns.com/home-solutions/parental-controls/ I setup the “Family Shield” so that no computer on my network can get into trouble. To set this up, you can either set your PC’s our Routers DNS to 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 – You will need to do this on all PC’s you want to protect. On their site they also have tons of Help Guides on how to setup your routers and access points if you want this to be more automatic. If you want a more flex-able control, look at their pay for offerings. Family Shield, is a solid offering.
- Anti-Virus: With so many choices out there its hard to pick one to recommend. We Recommend eSET AntiVirus. I use this at Home and at the office – http://www.eset.com/us/store/. If you buy 2 years worth the price drops. Try to stay away from Free AntiVirus, remember… You get what you pay for.
- AntiMalware: From time to time, its good to run this http://ninite.com/malwarebytes/ Malware Bytes is a solid product that looks for Malware, and removes it.
- Tracking and Temp Files: I HIGHLY recommend that you download and run http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download Once you install CCLeaner, also install http://singularlabs.com/software/ccenhancer/download/ then run ccleaner, and be amazed on how much stuff it deletes. This is safe to run
- Need to install stuff?: One of my favorite sites is http://www.ninite.com its a trusted place to get software, go to this site, check the items you want, and download and install. Its that simple. LibreOffice is a GREAT office alternative.
- Keep your eyes open: Its up to you where your family uses the computer, but you should always have an eye on what it is that they are doing. If you are concerned about a specific machine, look at http://www.spectorsoft.com/products/SpectorPro_Windows/ this can help you keep tabs on things. Watch what games, and video’s they watched. I was shocked at the language on some YouTube Videos.
- Files: Keep your files safe, you should leverage a site like Cubby (my link) https://cub.by/i/01_hfx.9b-Z0SX to ensure your files are located in the cloud. This way if you loose access to your computer, your docs are still available, whats better is you can sync your stuff across devices.
- Email: Don’t give out your email address if you don’t need to, If you need to register for something, create a public “Burner Email” http://maildrop.cc/ – Use this for anything that will not require you to share personal data. Great for Games, and Giveaways, and those one off things.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Just remember, keeping kids (and adults) safe is the goal. The typical cost to clean malware or viruses off a computer is $300 to $600.
–Charles J. Love
Director of Services and Cloud Operations
Big Sur Technologies