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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Security Tools

Today there is a dizzying array of security tools available to parents and other computer users to protect hardware, software, data... and, yes, the (sometimes) innocent and impressionable minds of our kids.

Before we can make a choice of what security tools are right for our equipment and our families, we generally need to understand two things. First, we need to consider the various threats that are out there and whether they are relevant to us as individuals or as a family. For example, do we keep a lot of sensitive business or personal information on our home computers such as tax returns, bank accounts, retirement funds? If so, we could be vulnerable to identity theft and we need to make sure these sensitive files can't be read by unauthorized spyware.

The second thing we need to understand? Our families! Do we have inquisitive young teens that like to spend hours surfing the Internet? Are we concerned that our child is or could be threatened by cyberbullies? Do we need to monitor what our children post online?

Understanding both the threats and the relevance of those threats to ourselves and our family are critical first steps in making sure we have the right security tools in place. The following links break down the threats and offer an approach and advice that varies with the age of our children.

Threats and Challenges

Security Tools

Security for Kids 3-8

Security for Kids 9-12

Security for Teens - A Behavioral Approach

Security for Teens - Safety Vs. Privacy

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