• The Fountains Federation

Online Privacy tips for Parents

1. Use strict privacy settings in apps and on websites.

When you or your child signs up for a new website or app, establish your privacy preferences immediately. The default settings on most apps usually aren't super private, but on popular social media such as Instagram, Musical.ly, and Snapchat, you can control things like who can see what you post, who can contact you, and whose posts you can see.

2. Enable two-factor authentication.

For an added layer of protection, enable two-factor authentication on apps and sites (like Facebook) when available. This will help protect your accounts from hackers by sending a code to your phone when you log in from an unfamiliar device.

3. Beware of phishing scams.

Don't open emails, texts, online "security" alerts, text notifications, or other things from anyone you don't know, don't recognise, or weren't expecting. Often this is "phishing" - companies sending out enticements hoping someone will click on them, thereby allowing entry to your device. Phishers can make their messages look authentic by copying logos from companies such as Amazon, Google or Paypal.

4. Use antivirus protection.

Buy and download antivirus software for homes, from a reputable source such as McAfee, Norton, or Symantec. Beware of free antivirus software, as it can contain malware. The Apple iOS operating system has antivirus software built in, but it can still be vulnerable, so make sure you update your OS when prompted, as the updates can fix security holes.

5. Turn off location services.

Unless you use an app that lets you track your child's location for safety reasons, turn off location services on your phone and your child's phone. You can turn them on again if you want to find local businesses or use your mapping program.

6. Don't let apps share data.

When you download a social app, it will ask if it can access information stored on your phone, such as your contacts, photos, music, and calendar. Say no. If the app won't work without this data, consider whether you can share some of what it's requesting but not all.

7. Be careful with social logins.

When you log onto a site or app with your Facebook or Google username and password, you may be agreeing to share certain information from your profile. Read the fine print to know what you're sharing and edit if possible.

8. Use strong passwords and change them frequently.

The best practice for passwords is to be at least eight characters and have a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters