Keeping Michigan families safe online

As technology continues to advance, it is having an ever-increasing impact on our daily lives. The way we access and share information is becoming more streamlined and instantaneous than ever.

While these advances, especially in mobile devices, allow us to significantly improve efficiency and organization throughout the day, it is important to be aware of the various security breaches that could compromise our privacy.

Each year, June is recognized as National Internet Safety Month as a means to spread awareness of the various ways you can keep yourself and your family safe online. As kids will be more active on their phones and social media making plans to enjoy the warm weather, it is the perfect time to talk to your family about staying safe online and learning new ways to protect your identity and information.

One of the best ways to stay safe online is by simply exercising good judgment. Keep your password updated regularly, and do not share it with anyone. Don’t click on links that are unfamiliar or open emails from an unknown sender. Scammers often create official-looking emails to persuade people to click a link that will download harmful software.

Having security software on all internet-connected devices and keeping it up to date is also of the utmost importance. These programs can prevent, contain and even eliminate malware, spyware and other malicious software that infects your device and tries to access your personal information.

Another way to keep your young children safe online is by using the state-operated child protection registry. The Michigan Child Protection Registry is a service that families can sign up for at no cost. It blocks adult-oriented material from reaching a child’s email inbox, cell phone or instant messenger ID. To sign up or see more information on this service, visit www.ProtectMiChild.com.

The internet has allowed society to advance more rapidly than ever imaginable. Humanity has an infinite amount of wisdom right at the end of their fingertips. We can now sync calendars and photo albums to multiple devices, pay bills and do a virtually unlimited amount of other things via an internet connection. This month, help older family members set up safety measures on their computers, and take the time to ensure your children are safe when using social media.

The internet is an invaluable asset. When used safely, it can be enjoyed by everyone.