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Post image for Tips for Improving your Child’s Safety Online – An Interview with AVG Internet Security

Last week I spent some time speaking about Internet Security for your kids with Tony Ascombe, “Ambassador” of Free Products for AVG, an Internet Security firm specializing in keeping your business and home safe from_B3E0512 Internet threats. My feeling is that these types of discussions should take place regularly, and not just with security experts, but also in the home environment as well. Children are becoming exposed and involved with social networking at much earlier ages, even if parents don’t even realize this. Sites like Webkinz and Club Penguin introduce our children to social networking, and while potentially safe, these site are, in fact, planting the seed of online interaction at an early age. Parents really need to learn more about this and how they can protect their children. And you simply cannot throw technology at this issue and hope that it will “go away”; the other part involves parents taking an active role in discussing the internet and sites therein with your children.


Just the other day in fact, I turned off access to YouTube and Safari within the iPhones and iPod Touches that my 7 and 9 year olds use. I simply could not monitor what they were looking at, the sites they were interacting with and what they were doing in general. It was followed by a talk by my wife and I with them on why we did this. And don’t think that the conversation simply ends with that, it’s a regular thing, especially in my highly technology-enabled family.

Tony and I had an important discussion about the types of things that you can do to make your home Internet-enabled environment just a bit more safe for your kids. We also spent a few minutes discussing some survey results related to Internet Usage by children. I was actually pretty surprised by the results of the study. My interview is posted below (and available on YouTube here). After the video are some of the study results as well as some recommendations from Tony (which I agree with).

[iframe_loader width=”560″ height=”349″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/jF_z9-AupFc?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen]

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bullies_on_playground It’s always important, if not critical to have anti-virus & security programs installed on your PC. I’m actually a big fan of the various Security Suites that you can get that come with all of the different types of protection packaged together (firewall, anti-virus, ant-spyware, anti-malware, anti-spam, etc.). With the all-in-one package, you don’t have to worry about compatibility. There are still some purists out there who piece together different programs (there are several great free firewall/anti-virus/anti-spyware programs out there), but those people who do opt for their own “security suite” run the risk of incompatibilities.

Every year, the Security Software companies update their protection programs to the next version (it seems like the next year’s version is always out in the 4th Quarter of the year before) and then start discounting these new versions right around the holidays (which I don’t quite get, “Look Honey, instead of that ring you wanted, here is a 3-seat anti-virus program. Who loves you!”). It is good to stay current with your security programs; I recommend upgrading to “next year’s version” when you can. Be sure to check the licensing to see if when you buy a 2-3 year license that it includes all future versions/upgrades as well.

If you decide to change software suppliers (e.g., move from AVG to Kaspersky or Norton to McAfee), you may run into some compatibility issues. Here are some tips to make the change-over process a bit easier:

  • Fully uninstall the old software before attempting to install the new one using software’s uninstaller [OK method]
  • Use a complete uninstaller (like Revo Uninstaller) that first runs the program’s uninstaller and then scours your computer to remove all left over traces of the old software [Better method]
  • Search the old software provider’s site for their own uninstaller [Best method]

I recommend using the last method listed above because then you are guaranteed that the software is fully removed. Here are a couple of links to popular A/V uninstallers: [click to continue…]