How anti-malware can protect your children while they learn from home

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If you are a parent in Singapore, chances are you’ve had to struggle to adapt to Home-Based Learning (HBL). Building a secure digital environment at home starts with educating both yourself and your children on malware. As busy parents, you might not be aware of online threats or how to set up online safety measures. In this article, we explore the types of malware threats and what you can do to keep your children safe with technology becoming an integral part of their everyday lives.

What is Malware?

Malware is software code written to exploit or damage computers and networks. Hackers use malware to steal important data, compromise device functioning, and cause harm by gaining unauthorised access to your devices.

The different types of malware include adware, spyware, Trojans, viruses, worms and ransomware. It is essential that children can easily identify different threats when using their devices.

Adware shows ads and popups that link to unsafe sites. It redirects users to similar lookalike sites promoting advertised products that can be potentially malicious.

Spyware monitors users’ online activities and browsing habits without their consent, collecting keystrokes, financial details, and login credentials.

Trojans are hidden in online games or software and take control of the device. It is used to install further malware, delete or steal important data, monitor online activities, modify files, and more.

Viruses can delete important files or corrupt data by shutting down the device in the middle of use. It is commonly used to create botnets, format hard drives, and more.

Worms are a self-replicating type of malware that can spread to other computers. Worms can spread through computer networks, e-mails, instant-messaging services, social networks, removable media and other channels.

Ransomware locks a device or encrypts its contents with the aim to extort money from the owner. A ransom demand with payment details is displayed to the victim often without any real guarantees of restoring access.

Why Children Need Protection from Malware on The Internet

Children in Singapore get their first device at an average age of 8 years old, making them among the youngest in the world to go online. It is therefore crucial for parents to educate their children about malware and inculcate good internet habits early.

Do you know who your children are talking to online? Undesirable people like phishing scammers, cyberbullies, and predators are constantly looking for opportunities to target the vulnerable. As such, parents must put in place measures to prevent inappropriate content from reaching children.

In addition, parents have to be vigilant about computer security issues such as malware attacks, unwanted pop-ups from freeware, and drive-by downloads resulting in automatic malware installation. Common places where kids may encounter malware include gaming and social media networking sites.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of online threats and don’t have the time to monitor your children’s every move, you’re not alone. This is where having the right internet security software comes in handy.

How to Protect Your Children While They Learn Online

Thanks to simple and easy-to-use smart security software, parents can now protect their children from malware while they learn online.

A survey shows that 12-year old children in Singapore spend around 6.5 hours on electronic devices daily. Your children’s social media platforms require monitoring because it is likely to be the most important aspect of their online lives. Social media platforms like Facebook and TikTok have stepped up parental controls, making it easier to monitor your children’s chat history.

Create a safe space for your kids with Parental Control. It allows you to limit screen time, block inappropriate web content, and see their current location. For the best, uninterrupted security, install antimalware software to protect your children from malicious intruders.

How to Choose the Best Antimalware Program

Since malware distributors are always updating their methods, choosing the best antimalware software will ensure that security is consistently tight. An effective antimalware software detects existing malware and provides protection from offensive/in-appropriate material. It uses content filters for children, so you can rest assured that sites with objectionable content are blocked.

Children are not limited to using only one device while they learn from home. Thus, you need to choose antimalware software offering multi-platform device protection to secure all your devices.

Look out for robust parental controls when choosing antivirus software. ESET Smart Security Premium not only provides you with options from predefined categories according to your kids’ age, but also allows you to set a password to prevent settings modifications or uninstallation by kids.

Educate Your Children About Internet Safety

Don’t wait for something bad to happen. Set the ground rules for your children so they are aware of internet safety. Teach them to keep their personal details private, and avoid communication with strangers online. For a start, remind them that posting their phone number, email address, or home address should be strictly avoided while online.

Kids may be tempted by links from unknown sources offering freebies, so be sure to warn them as they might be unsafe and contain malware. A regular virus scan using an antivirus will keep your children protected against malware.

Last but not the least, be sure to keep your children part of the conversation and build a strong foundation for their online safety. Involve your children in the decision-making process while setting the ground rules. This will establish better trust and they are more likely to reach out to you if they encounter any issues online.