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Internet Security for Children at Home during Summer Vacation

Source:Department of Consumer Protection

School children spend more time using social media or playing online games during the summer vacation. It also means that they may face risk of leaking their personal data and even cause their parents to pay “an-arm-and-a-leg” cost for their online activities. The Department of Consumer Protection, Executive Yuan (hereinafter referred to as the DCP) calls on parents to act as a role model and help their children develop good online habits, as this is the only way to ensure personal data security and online privacy.

The Internet, mobile phones, and computers are very popular nowadays. If users don’t pay attention, data may be stolen by others. Once criminals obtain their personal data, people suffer from fraudulent use of their data or are caught in danger of fraud. As the summer vacation is approaching, the DCP proposes the following concepts for parents to refer to and help their children establish a good concept of privacy:

1. Guardians are responsible: Mobile phones may be equipped with a ton of apps and games. Nevertheless, some may not have sufficient security mechanisms to protect your information, privacy or transaction, and the others may even cause a lot of doubts because of difficulty in contract termination and authorization for credit card transactions. Parents are recommended to check beforehand and set up app download and login permissions through mobile phones or software to prevent potential problems in advance.

2. There is no such thing as a free lunch: Parents should remind their children that they don’t need to provide personal information voluntarily for free functions, gifts or participation in lucky draws, especially suspicious camera software, face-changing games or online psychological tests.

3. Not everything is suitable for sharing online: Social media is also a tool for background checks, cyber manhunt, or news mining, and is by no means the best way to share your mood. In addition, as Facebook check-ins will let others know your whereabouts, it is best to turn off the GPS function on your mobile phone whenever it is not needed.

4. It is better to clear your footprints than surfing anonymously: After you use an Internet café, a public computer or free Internet, you should clear all desktop files, website browsing records, communication software login records, etc. You should also delete the cookies of your browser regularly from your own computer, because cookies record website information, which may be stolen and used for illegal purposes.

5. Making friends inadvertently is tantamount to leading wolves into your house: Please turn off the function of automatically adding friends to groups and beware of uninvited strangers. No matter how attractive the profile picture looks, you should block or report the uninvited strangers without hesitation.

6. Don't throw the door open for the robbers: Nowadays, games, software, videos, or website forums all have age classification systems. Parents must not help children open accounts or use permissions beyond their age restrictions. Simply put, don’t pamper your kids too much. Moreover, as some smart products or software will automatically send the recording or monitored data back to the makers or government units in foreign countries, you need to read through the Internet evaluation before purchasing them, set up a password before using them, and try to shut them down when not in use.