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Are Your Kids Online More Than Usual? Here’s How To Keep Them Safe

Are Your Kids Online More Than Usual? Here’s How To Keep Them Safe. The importance of online safety for kids. A cybercafe solution.

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Gaming Laptops

As we slowly shift towards a new reality wherein work from home is becoming the norm, it begins to put a lot of things about our future into perspective.

Do we consider this increased reliance on online communication a sign of what’s to come? As an adult navigating the online working world, it’s hard to believe there was ever a time we lived without it.

Yet, for children who are growing up within this transient world of technology, there’s a whole new level of reliance on the internet when it comes to education and entertainment.

1. The importance of online safety for kids

As the world evolves to accommodate change, so must you. Educational demands are continually growing as children are looked upon to be the new ‘digital natives.

Yet, being adept at accessing the internet does not necessarily mean you’re practicing safe internet etiquette. As a busy parent, you can’t be expected to be able to predict or prevent your child’s every online move, but at the same time, you’ve got to keep your child safe.

The online world is just as filled with unknown dangers as the real world. Some of the most common threats include:

Norton Identity Theft Protection

a. Malware Scams

As a cautious adult, a suspicious email or text is relatively easier to spot, and even then, scammers still successfully prey on us.

However, it is much easier to lure children into clicking on a malicious link or advert. Installing antivirus software, educating children in general about ‘bad’ relationships, or not giving away account information are great ways to reduce these dangers.

b. Online Predators

Scammers aren’t your only cause for concern, and criminals began to adapt to this new world too. They try to reach out to children through platforms such as games, blogs, sites like Reddit, and more, that emphasize anonymity.

Hiding behind a username, strangers often build rapport with children, by creating a level of trust or bonding with them.

Educate your child on the internet’s version of the ‘big bad wolf.’ Warn them of suspicious behavior and reiterate the rule of ‘private information stays private.

’ If they’re gaming online, ensure it’s just their friends they’re gaming with. Always try to keep a check on who they’re connecting with and what platforms they’re using to do so.

c. Dark Web

While the internet is filled with incredible resources, it also has an equal amount of information not meant for young eyes.

Protecting your child from this is easy when you’ve got parental controls in place. An easy way to monitor this as well could be through software that immediately notifies you if this boundary is breached.

online safety for kids

2. A cybercafe solution

In most cases, educating your child or general awareness is not enough. Children are naturally curious and, at their age, can be rebellious as well.

Again, as a parent, it is impossible to be around 24/7 to ensure your child is safe on the internet — which is why solutions like parental control, screen timeouts, and more are essential.

Antivirus companies offer packages directly targeting cyber safety for kids, solving your concerns with one easy parental solution.

In particular, Norton is offering customers 6-months of complimentary usage of their Norton Family service due to the increase in online activity that comes with working and studying from home.

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Cybersecurity

Gafgyt and beyond: Inside IoT DDoS Malware

In a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, a cyber attacker overwhelms their target by bombarding them with enormous quantities of fake data, knocking them offline

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Best DDoS Protection Techniques

In a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, a cyber attacker overwhelms their target by bombarding them with enormous quantities of fake data, knocking them offline or significantly impeding their ability to offer service regular to legitimate customers.

Because it’s challenging to overwhelm a target on your own, DDoS attacks almost always use a botnet, a zombie army of remote-controlled connected devices, which can launch coordinated attacks to consume a victim’s upstream bandwidth.

Picture it like recruiting a group of friends, acquaintances, and anyone else you can persuade with access to a phone to call a local business at a particular time repeatedly. While you could annoy by doing this yourself, using a single phone line, by getting a large group of people to do so, you can tie up as many phone lines as the target company might have open at once. You also make it much harder for the beleaguered business to trace the party responsible since all the calls come from different numbers.

A botnet works a lot like this. It refers to a collection of internet-connected devices that have been infected using malware to be controlled by hackers. The name “botnet” is a combination of “robot” and “network.” The biggest botnets have involved hundreds of thousands or even millions of connected devices. Those targets without the proper DDoS mitigation tools can be in serious trouble.

1. Attacking IoT devices

Virtually any internet-connected device can be used as a botnet. All that’s required is that it can send messages on command. That means that while malware-infected desktop and laptop computers have been used in botnet-driven DDoS attacks, they too have smartwatches, intelligent security cameras, intelligent kitchen appliances, and home routers.

Some of the devices are ones their owners may not even think of as computers, although that’s precisely what they are. They may also have no awareness that their device is part of a botnet, perhaps only experiencing the occasional slowdown in service — since many devices in a botnet lie dormant until they’re used for a DDoS attack or, sometimes, for sending spam messages.

cybersecurity is essential to the global supply chain

There are many significant advantages to cyber attackers targeting Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as IP cameras and intelligent refrigerators for DDoS attacks. One is the massive number of devices that can potentially target. According to consumer data company Statista, the average number of connected devices per household in the United States last year was 10. Globally, the firm claims that there are around 21.5 billion interconnected devices.

Just as important is the fact that, in many cases, IoT security can be surprisingly poor. That makes these devices comparably easy to compromise for IoT botnets. Poor security may stem from weak and guessable passwords, often unchanged from their default passwords, insecure ecosystem interfaces, flawed security update methodologies, and more.

2. Botnets in action

Whatever the reasons, hackers have wasted no time targeting these vulnerabilities to build bigger, worse botnets. The devastating Mirai botnet, which emerged in 2016, infected IoT devices by scanning the internet for open ports and then trying to access them by using a list of more than 60 default passwords. It was used as part of multiple DDoS attacks.

Mirai’s tricks continue to be used in similar botnets. More recently, variations of a botnet malware family called Gafgyt have used code from the Mirai botnet to target and potentially infect susceptible IoT devices, including routers made by Huawei and Realtek. It downloads malware payloads that can be used to stage DDoS attacks by exploiting vulnerabilities in these devices.

DDoS attacks have been around for decades, but the approaches used by attackers continue to evolve. As seen with the Gafgyt malware and the continued threat of Mirai and Mirai-inspired botnets, attackers constantly tweak their systems to build larger, more dangerous botnets which can be used to inflict harm on targets.

3. Defending against DDoS

Anyone in possession of an IoT device should take steps to ensure that it is adequately secured. This involves changing the name and default password of machines, using strong passwords, providing firmware updates that are downloaded and installed, and avoiding using public Wi-Fi to access IoT networks.

To defend against DDoS attacks, you should also make sure that you deploy the correct anti-DDoS tools. This includes solutions for DDoS detection (able to recognize attacks as rapidly as possible), diversion (to defend against application-layer and network-layer attacks), filtering (blocking malicious traffic while continuing to let legitimate users through), and analysis (to gather information about attacks and attempted attacks.)

Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS attacks) is not going away any time soon. The most that companies can hope for is preparing for them and figuring out how best to mitigate them. Given the potential damage they can cause — from unwanted downtime to long-term reputational damage — this is one of the smartest investments you can make.

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