How to regulate your child’s technology use

With distance learning now a part of life during the coronavirus pandemic, kids are spending even more time online. Being constantly connected brings increased risk of theft, fraud and abuse. To help give prents peace of mind as their children traverse the internet, AT&T is offering the following tech tips.

Use parental controls

Trouble can be just a click away when your child is online without supervision. Whether surfing the web on a computer or on a smartphone, take advantage of parental controls offered by your provider. For example, AT&T Smart Home Manager lets you choose how your family uses your home Wi-Fi network.

You can create profiles for each user, set time limits and block internet access.

For mobile devices, the AT&T Secure Family app helps you control your child’s online experience by filtering content, regulating screen time and providing location services for family members.

Monitor their use

Parents need to understand how, where and why their kids are spending time online. Look at their use over a period of time and watch for imbalances. Know the sites your kids visit and their online activities.

Again, parental controls can help you with this.

Be cyber-aware and cyber-secure

Educate your student on the risks of being on the internet. Unfortunately, there are fraudsters in cyberspace who try to manipulate you for information, sometimes called “social engineering.”

Remind your children to:

• Never share their email address with anyone they don’t know.

• Never share their personal or family information online.

• Ignore people contacting them with wild offers or promises, like free money or gifts in exchange for their information.

• Only open email and text messages from someone they know. Only open an attachment or click on a link if they know and trust the sender and understand what the message is about.

• Never provide their username or password through an email or text in response to an unsolicited email or text.

• Never engage with strangers online.

Also, consider these steps to strengthen your family’s security online:

• Keep your security software up to date.

• Keep all computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones up to date with the latest operating system updates.

Familiarize yourself with the new guidelines for increasing password security:

• Create unique passwords using a combination of random words or phrases, preferably longer.

• Do more than simply change the number at the end of an existing password.

• Avoid using nicknames, birthdays or other information people may know or is readily available, like information on your or your child’s social media site.

• Use trick answers to security questions.

• Use two-step authentication where available. The first step is logging in with your password. This triggers the second step – a PIN number sent to your phone that is required to complete the login.

For more tips to help you and your child stay safe online, visit cyberaware.