Online Privacy and What It Means for Your Family

Online privacy has become a hot topic as of late. With more and more of us using internet-connected devices on a daily basis, it’s fairly normal to have concerns about our privacy. This is especially true as social media becomes a more integral part of our lives as each day passes. As such, we generate loads of data on the internet, and a lot of this can be used against us if we’re not careful. This is why online privacy is so important.

But what does online privacy mean for families? What if you’re not tech-savvy or you don’t really know much about using the internet. Whether you’re just getting started with the internet or would like to know more about safely using the internet, privacy is a topic that you should understand thoroughly. Here’s what you need to know. 

Photo by Dan Nelson on Unsplash

What online privacy means

Online privacy essentially refers to how much of your information remains private whenever you go on the internet. For instance, if you sign up to lots of different websites using your email, then you’re potentially giving out your email address to dozens of different businesses or people. This might not sound like much of a big deal, but what if their data is compromised? Suddenly, your email could be seen by virtually anyone and you could get lots of spam emails.

Similarly, online privacy can relate to social media. Remaining private basically means that you’re not sharing too much information. However, with all of the photographs we take, the information we might share, and also the connections we have, it’s possible for someone to use someone’s public profile as a means to find where they live. This kind of public information can make it easy to stalk you and your family members.

Is online privacy really that important?

Absolutely! Sharing too much information can encourage stalkers. This is especially important to deal with if you have children. Kids tend to overshare and they might talk a lot about their family or home. If they do this a lot, then it’s only a matter of time before some of your information is leaked out. While it’s easy to overlook something like this, it’s never too late to start practicing some habits that could lead to safer online browsing. 

Small habits like using the best private search engine or installing some kind of software that scans links can really help your situation here. Showing that you care about privacy and that it’s a top priority will help your family pay a little more attention to what they’re doing on the internet.

The basics of staying safe on the internet

So how exactly do you stay safe on the internet? What are some things you can do in order to make the internet a bit safer for your whole family? There are a number of simple ways to start protecting your kids online, but here are some of the most common methods.

  • Pay a little more attention to how they use the internet. Are they speaking to anyone that you don’t know? Are they visiting places where they could encounter strangers?
  • Have you enabled parental controls to disable access to certain websites and features?
  • Does your child know about basic internet safety? This can include not clicking on strange links and making sure websites are real and safe before clicking on a link.
  • Use something like a virtual private network to shield your activity on the internet.

While it can be fairly difficult to stay safe when browsing the internet, the use of a VPN and basic internet knowledge can be a good way to combat most threats. In addition, you may want to install some kind of antivirus software or even a spyware scanner. In the event that you do click on a bad link, you’ll get a warning and the software may even clean up the problem before it gets out of hand.

Is the internet dangerous for children?

The internet is not a dangerous place for children. In fact, it’s no safer or more dangerous than anything else they can do. The danger comes from people, not the internet itself. As such, the best way to avoid any kind of danger is to be more careful about what you share. Oversharing is never a good idea, but it’s something that children might do because they’re curious and they don’t realize there are bad people out there.