With summer drawing to a close and a new school year about to begin, the Trend Micro team in Ottawa offers some quick and easy ways to help your family stay on top of Internet safety.

“With all members of the family spending more time online for both school and fun, there are more opportunities to encounter spam, scams, spyware, viruses, and other Web threats,” said Ian Gordon, Trend Micro Canada Chief of Marketing and Channel. “While common sense and caution are the best ways to protect your family’s life on line, it also helps to keep your Internet security software up-to-date.”

New school year = New passwords

After a summer of increased web surfing, start the school year with new secure passwords. Frequent password changes deceases the chances of financial and social networking accounts being hacked.

Have the talk about online safety. Again
Talk about the importance of not sharing personal details online such as name, address, phone number, age, passwords or log on information. Even the most cynical of teens will get the message through this light but powerful (and safe to click on) video on the topic: The Wrong Hands.

Be careful where you click
Prevent your devices from being infected with malware and other uninvited viruses. Teach your kids to be wary of unexpected or strange looking emails. Never open attachments from strangers or click on links from these emails.

Keep software security up-to-date
Make sure you have installed up-to-date security software to protect your family and all devices from smart phones, to laptops and desktop computers from viruses, spyware, and spam.

Keep the off line communication lines open
Encourage your children to think critically about what they see and read on line rather then assuming it is all true or accurate. Encourage your kids to come to you if they come across content that is upsetting to them in anyway.