We’re talking malware, viruses and firewalls. What you need to consider and start looking at on your child’s Mac device.

Our need for constant connection with the world in any way possible has trickled down to our children. As more children become technologically advanced than previous generations, parents are looking for better and improved ways to ensure their children will remain safe in the digital world. Years ago, ‘child-friendly’ technology consisted of Walkman Radios, offline video games, and first-generation iPhones. The scene is differently set today, newer tech are allowing kids to become easily exposed to the dangers of the digital and online world.  

First, let’s clarify, we’re not ignoring the highly important topic of ‘child-proofing’ your children’s tech – as that’s a topic for another today. We’re looking for improved ways to secure your child’s Mac device against online threats and viruses. Mac is pretty well-known for establishing itself as a dominant figure in computer security, but they’re not always on top of their game. So let’s have a look at additional ways you can improve.

Why should you update your child’s Mac computer security?

YouTube security for children is important. Yes, it is pretty popular, with an estimated 1.6 billion users each month, it’s no wonder there’s a video for anything today. In a recent article by Panda Security Company, the IT security company stated that many clickable links for movie and TV series searches on YouTube can result in pitfalls. Users tend to search for movies on YouTube and are then sent to a ‘third-party’ website. Look out for “Video description links” which are found underneath a video because they can sometimes be more dangerous than expected.  These sites might infect your computer software and install unwanted software.

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Other things to watch out for are the YouTube comments section. Many cybercriminals provide different video content, and if asked to “Upgrade” your video player, be aware that this might actually be a virus or malware. Pop-up video ads that play in the background without you noticing or hearing it is done with botnets and causes wear and tear on your computer.

Some additional things to keep in mind are suspicious e-mail attachments, kids not safely removing USB storage devices, or unsecured websites. You can easily see whether a website is secured or not by seeing if a ‘padlock’ icon appears in the URL tab. Ensuring security software is up to date and regular maintenance on security firmware will guarantee that even if children come across some pitfalls, their Mac will be safe.

What can you do?

Here are our 6 simple ways to keep the young ones safe!

  1. Virus Protect Software. Mac comes standard with virus protection software, but it’s not invincible. Cybercrime happens almost every day, to anyone, not just kids. Make sure that you install an additional virus protection program on your child’s computer. The software will automatically detect when a malicious link has been clicked or opened. Think of antivirus software as an investment. For more on this check out MacKeeper.
  2. Block Dangerous Sites. Parents are well-aware of dangerous sites that are easily accessible online, but this decision is made on the sole judgment of each parent, and differences may arise. macOS and Safari have independent software and settings to help with security needs.
  3. Create a Standard Account and Disable Automatic Login. Ensure that only you as the parent and your child can access their computer via login details. Having one standard account on the computer protects it against some malware and viruses.
  4. Regularly Check for Software Updates. All Apple products release regular iOS updates, so ensure that you routinely install new software as it will automatically come with updated Mac Antivirus programming.
  5. Review the Security and Privacy Settings. This is very important, as some websites and social media platforms automatically track the location of the used device. Many Mac apps are retrieving your data, and you can switch this off under the Privacy Tab in Security and Privacy.
  6. Two-Way Firewalls. Both inbound and outbound firewalls are superior, as they offer protection against downloaded content and protection of personal data while using the internet. Ensure the Apple built-in firewall software is up to date and functioning properly.
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Bonus Tip: Make sure to have passwords on every device, not only for device safety but mainly theirs. Ensure apps are properly logged out of, and that passwords are changed every couple of months.

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