Some people’s internet habits can accidentally expose them to many risks such as identity theft and various scams. Exposure is even easier to come by now that many users access the internet using their mobile devices. The risks are changing and multiplying by the day. As we see new technology and communication methods come to the surface, so does the growing threat of criminals using it in the wrong way. Cybercriminals work day and night to learn new, covert, and underhanded methods to violate people and steal their personal information.

As the National Police Association (NPA) suggests, you need to stay informed about the up-to-date ways in which cybercriminals manage their online operations. One highly recommended quick and easy fix is to update your security software routinely. These security updates will work in your favor nine times out of ten, keep you a few steps ahead and safe from these digital crooks.

The Advantages of the World Wide Web

The internet does have its advantages apart from its criminal activity. It has made life much easier for us all. You can go shopping for just about anything your heart desires. Researching information on different subjects has never been easier as all the library books are right there on the web. Plus, communicating with friends and family can happen in an instant.

Prioritizing Family Safety Above All

The National Police Association encourages you to stay aware. Know the lengths you must go to to keep yourself and your family safe while performing those various tasks using the internet. There are so many ways you can ensure you maintain internet safety and never end up being a victim of cybercrime. These recommendations from the National Police Association will keep you and the people you love safely able to enjoy all the perks the internet can provide without the annoyance and fear of being the object of a cybercriminal’s next plot.

National Police Association’s 5 Tips to Maintain Internet Safety

1.Keep all of your devices password-protected.

If unauthorized users try to access your phone and other devices, passwords provide the first line of protection. Both your phone and your computer contain personal information no one else should have access to. That’s why security professionals recommend you have a password on every device. When creating a password, you should develop a strong one for extra security, something other people won’t easily guess. Don’t use any critical days in your life or your names and pet names. Professional cybercriminals can decipher those passwords easily. You also want to make sure that you are using a mix of character types. Capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and signs should all be used in the same password to ensure variation and make it impossible for attackers ever to guess.

2. Keep your antivirus and antispyware software updated

Your personal information, including and most importantly your identity, can very easily be manipulated or stolen through an attacker’s viruses and spyware. Be wary of what you download from the internet, even if you already use antivirus software to protect your computer. They work by scanning incoming codes or files that are being passed through your network traffic. The antivirus and antispyware software have an extensive database. The database detects, flags, and removes viruses and malware left by cybercriminals.

3. Always consider the information that you post online and where

People increasingly post private information on their social media accounts. Therefore, many predators use it as a source of information when you aren’t home or when your children are left unprotected. This enables cybercriminals to easily take advantage of you, your friends, and your family. Always ensure you check your privacy settings before you decide to post personal information. Sharing your current location or posting photos of your home, a travel itinerary, or any other personal information online exposes you and your family to crime from cybercriminals.

4. Remain cautious of social media or email scams

When the deal is too good to be true, then the value is too good to be true. Trust what your instinct tells you. You might get emails or messages from unknown people telling you that you’ve won incredible amounts of money, among other things. They’re mostly criminals who try to scam people like this. Cybercriminals will try and retrieve your personal information. They might want to steal your social security number, banking account numbers, and even your passwords. After they’ve acquired your personal information, they’ll use it to access your bank account, email, or your social media profiles. They will use access to steal your money or important private information for blackmail purposes.

5. Protect your children from internet criminals

Your children aren’t necessarily aware of the dangers of the internet and the havoc a cybercriminal can wreak on their lives. They innocently might communicate with potential cybercriminals and share their personal information without thinking twice. Ensure you communicate awareness and internet safety with your children before allowing them to traverse the internet unsupervised. Ensure you are always aware of the different avenues in which your kids use to communicate with their peers. Provide distinct parameters for what they can and can’t post or share online, exactly where on the web they are allowed to share, and set guidelines for their eCommerce activities.

Consistently remind your children to never give out any personal information and remind them of the dangers of that information falling into the wrong hands. Make it very clear to them that they should never chat with a stranger online or ever agree to meet anyone they do not know that they met online. Many sexual predators will stalk children in what seems to be very safe places like chatrooms and social media sites. Also, talk to your kids about cyberbullying, show them examples of what it might look like so they recognize it if it’s happening. Teach them how to avoid it and contact help if they believe it is happening to them.

As a parent, you can easily download a multitude of software and various apps that will assist in monitoring your children’s activities online. Specialized software has even been created to focus on specific age groups, like elementary age to teenage monitoring systems. These computer programs and applications also allow you to limit how much internet they use in a day. The more regulatory control you can have while still allowing them to feel the freedom to use these technologies increases their safety.

Be Mindful and Aware to Stay Ahead of Internet Crime

Cybercriminals come in every shape and size. If you take these precautions upfront, you stand a much better chance of avoiding these criminals altogether. With the correct security measures taken and the right protections acquired, you will never have to deal with the aftermath of a cybercriminal. Mindful awareness will help you and your children stay safe from internet crime, so you can enjoy all of the excellent advantages the internet affords.

About the National Police Association

The National Police Association utilizes a dynamic combination of education, assertive legal filings, in-depth investigations, and clear communications to advance a mission of combating the influence of anti-police activists and helping to hold them accountable. The NPA uses the law as a method to highlight abuses by anti police elected officials, change behavior, and seek corrective action. In addition, the National Police Association promotes policies that encourage public officials to work with the police in the public interest, not for the benefit of powerful special interests.