Panda marks Universal Children’s Day with web safety advice for kids

Panda Security marked Universal Children’s Day on the 20th of November with advice to children on how to use the Internet responsibly and ensure they enjoy the Web as safely as possible. This initiative from Panda Security aims to promote responsible and secure use of the Internet among young people, and is part of the company’s “Kids on the Web” campaign (www.kidsontheweb.com).

With this in mind, Panda offers this simple, practical guide to children:

  1. Don’t click suspicious links. When using instant messaging programs (such as MSN Messenger or any other chat application) or you receive an email, never click directly on any links. If the message or email comes directly from someone you know, then type the address in the browser. If you don’t know the person that it has come from, the best thing to do is to ignore it.
  2. It is dangerous to download or run files from unknown sources. You have probably gotten instant messages inviting you to download a photo, a song or a video. This file could have been sent by a dangerous program that has infected a friend’s computer and which is trying to spread to other users. Just in case, the best thing to do is ask your friend if they have really sent something. If they haven’t, let them know that they are infected so they can delete the file.
  3. Don’t speak to strangers. In chat rooms, social networks or across instant messaging, you can never be completely sure who you’re speaking to, as you can’t see them. Especially in online communities, where people have never met in real life. Never make friends with strangers, and never ever arrange to meet them in real life.
  4. Don’t send private information across the Internet. Never send private information (your address or phone number, etc.) via email or instant messaging, and never publish this kind of information in a blog or on a forum. You should also take care when you create profiles for sites such as Facebook or Myspace. You should never include information such as your age or your address.
  5. If you have the slightest doubt, be careful. If a program you don’t remember installing begins to display false infections or pop-ups inviting you to buy some type of product, be wary. You probably have some type of malware installed on your computer.
  6. Don’t browse the Web alone. If you’re going to search on the Internet, it’s much better to get an adult to guide and advise you on where to look. It is far more secure to visit trustworthy and official sites rather than unknown Web pages.
  7. Talk to your parents or teachers. If you see something suspicious or you receive a nasty or dangerous email, speak to an adult. They will be able to advise you.

“Many young children have online acces and the ‘digital gap’ between parents and children is exposing many young people to the dangers of the Internet”, explains Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations. “We need to make sure our children can enjoy the Web in a healthy way. We always advise that the best way to achieve this is for parents and children to have a relationship based on trust, so it is not necessary to be constantly monitoring kids while they’re on social networks and the like”, he concludes.

More information at www.pandalabs.com

For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/.

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