Why VPNs Are Essential for Comprehensive Virus Protection

Our dependence on the internet for work, entertainment, and communication has expanded dramatically, increasing vulnerability to cyber threats, such as viruses. At Safernet, we believe incorporating a VPN into your security strategy is crucial for robust virus protection. In this blog, we’ll explore why VPNs are essential for comprehensive virus protection and how they can enhance online safety.

Understanding VPNs and Their Role in Virus Protection

A Virtual Private Network establishes a secure, encrypted tunnel from your device to the internet. This ensures your data is transmitted safely, shielding it from prying eyes. But how does this relate to virus protection? Let’s break it down.

Enhanced Security and Privacy

One of the primary benefits of using a VPN is the enhanced security it provides. By encrypting your internet connection, a VPN greatly enhances the security of your data, making it much more difficult for cybercriminals to intercept. This is especially crucial when accessing public Wi-Fi networks, which are known for their vulnerabilities. Without a VPN, you risk exposing sensitive information such as passwords, financial details, and personal data to hackers.

By using a VPN, you add an extra layer of security that makes it difficult for malware and viruses to reach your device. Even in the event of a hacker successfully penetrating the network, the encrypted data remains effectively inaccessible without the decryption key, which is exclusively available to you and the VPN server.

Blocking Malicious Websites

Many VPN services, including Safernet, come equipped with built-in features that block access to malicious websites. These websites are often the primary sources of viruses and malware. By preventing you from accessing these sites, a VPN helps reduce the risk of accidental downloads and infections.

This feature is particularly beneficial for those who may not be tech-savvy or are prone to clicking on suspicious links. Using a VPN allows you to browse securely, ensuring that potentially harmful websites are actively blocked in real-time.

Preventing Data Throttling and Bandwidth Limitations

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) sometimes throttle your bandwidth based on your online activities. This can slow down your connection, making it frustrating to download or stream content. More importantly, it can expose you to potential security risks.

When your connection is slow, you might be tempted to disable certain security features, such as antivirus software or firewalls, to speed things up. This creates a window of opportunity for viruses and malware to infiltrate your system. By using a VPN, you can avoid bandwidth throttling, ensuring that your security measures remain active and effective at all times.

Enhancing Antivirus Software

While antivirus software is crucial for identifying and eliminating viruses, it works best when used in conjunction with other security tools. A VPN complements your antivirus software by providing an additional layer of defense. This dual approach ensures that even if a virus manages to bypass one security measure, it is likely to be caught by the other.

For example, while your antivirus software scans and removes malicious files, your VPN can prevent those files from ever reaching your device in the first place. This comprehensive approach significantly reduces the chances of a successful virus attack.

Wrapping Up

Incorporating a VPN into your cybersecurity strategy is no longer just an option; it’s a necessity. By providing enhanced security, blocking malicious websites, preventing data throttling, protecting against phishing attacks, and complementing your antivirus software, a VPN offers comprehensive virus protection.

At Safernet, we are committed to helping you safeguard your online presence. Our VPN virus protection features are designed to keep you safe from the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. Embrace the power of a VPN and enjoy a safer, more secure online experience.

Exploring the Benefits of White-Label VPN Solutions

In today’s digital era, ensuring robust online security is paramount for businesses and their customers. At Safernet, we specialize in providing comprehensive security solutions that cater to various needs. One of the most effective tools in our arsenal is the White-Label VPN service. Through our white-label VPN software, businesses can offer customized, branded VPN services to their clients, enhancing both security and customer trust. Here, we explore the multifaceted benefits of adopting a white-label VPN solution.

Branding Consistency

One key advantage of using a white-label VPN service is the ability to maintain brand consistency across all products and services. When you opt for a white-label solution from Safernet, you can integrate your brand’s logo, colors, and overall aesthetic into the VPN interface. This seamless integration not only strengthens brand recognition but also enhances the professional appearance of your digital offerings.

Cost-Effective Solution

Developing a VPN solution from scratch can be costly and time-consuming. By choosing our white-label VPN service, you bypass the need for extensive research and development. There are no initial development costs, and you can launch a fully functional, branded VPN service in a fraction of the time it would take to build one internally. This cost efficiency makes it easier for businesses of all sizes to offer VPN services without compromising quality or security.

Enhanced Security

At Safernet, security is our top priority. Our white-label VPN software incorporates cutting-edge encryption standards to safeguard your data against cyber threats. By offering a branded VPN service, you protect your business’s data and reassure your customers that their online activities are shielded from unauthorized access.

Quick and Easy to Market

With our white-label solution, your branded VPN service will be up and running quickly. We handle all the backend complexities, allowing you to focus on what you do best—serving your customers and growing your business. This quick market entry is crucial in today’s fast-paced business environment, where being first can often mean the difference between success and failure.

Tailored to Your Needs

We understand that every business has unique needs. Our white-label VPN solution provides various customization options, allowing you to personalize the service to suit your needs. Whether you need to adjust the level of security settings, add custom features, or integrate with other services, we work closely with you to ensure that the VPN solution fits seamlessly into your existing product lineup.

Ongoing Support and Maintenance

When you opt for our white-label VPN service, you’ll also receive continuous support and maintenance. This means our expert team handles any updates, security patches, and improvements, ensuring that the VPN service remains optimal without any additional effort from your side. This continuous support not only helps maintain high service standards but also ensures that your VPN adapts to the evolving cybersecurity landscape.

Revenue Opportunities

Offering a VPN service can open up new revenue streams for your business. By integrating our white-label VPN into your offerings, you can create package deals or add it as a value-added service to enhance your existing products. This increases your service value and helps diversify your revenue sources.

Wrapping Up

Adopting a white-label VPN solution from Safernet is not just about enhancing online security—it’s an opportunity to grow your brand, reduce costs, and provide value to your customers. Whether you want to expand your service portfolio or seek ways to ensure your digital interactions are secure, our white-label VPN service offers a comprehensive solution tailored to your business needs. We’re committed to helping you protect what matters most—securely and efficiently.

SaferNet’s Learning Community

Parents, SaferNet is asking you to come forward and become a part of a really exciting learning community that we are starting to grow. The purpose of this learning community would be to unite you with other parents and share your experiences with parental controls, internet safety, and parenting in general.

We understand the struggles of being a parent, a good majority of us at SaferNet have more than 1 child, so we know what it’s like to maintain parental controls and internet safety with multiple children. SaferNet is able to take away some of the frustrations of being a parent day-to-day, and we’d love to hear your feedback on our product, how you use our product, and connect you with other SaferNet parents!

As of now, SaferNet invites you to get involved in our movement by Liking, Following, and Sharing our content on our social media accounts. You can even use the hashtag #SaferNet to communicate with us and other parents on social media if you’d like! Also, be sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter that will be emailed to you on the 15th of every month with news & updates about SaferNet.

We believe that parents can learn from each other and create something fantastic for other parents to get helpful tips and guidance for all kinds of situations. Parenting will never be as easy as a walk in the park, but we strive to create a product that will suit every parents’ need.

We truly care about the safety and well-being of your children, and highly encourage you to get involved in any way you can and become a part of a very special community where our children’s internet safety is always the priority.

Let us know what kind of things you’d like to see from us on this subject!  https://safernetvpn.com/

Cyber Threats – What’s An Entourage and Why is it Dangerous?

It’s no secret that advertising is everywhere, and unavoidable. However, advertising to your children is a market that has been brought to light recently. “It is estimated that advertisers spend more than $12 billion per year to reach the youth market and that children view more than 40,000 commercials each year.”

$12 BILLION.

No wonder there are so many ads on your kids’ favorite apps, or even when watching their favorite show on TV. Advertisement isn’t necessarily a bad thing amongst adults, if they’re educational enough about a product you might consider buying at a grocery store for example, you might go out and buy it. But the impact advertising has on children is absolutely unacceptable.

A couple example of this are:

  • Advertisements on children’s apps with inappropriate or offensive content
  • Manipulative advertisements for junk food with the intent of targeting children
  • Advertisements for alcohol, marijuana, and cigarettes that are targeted to today’s youth

Unfortunately, with almost any app you can get in Google Play or Apple’s App Store, advertisement will always be there.

The disturbing part of it is that younger children can’t differentiate when a game for example, leaves and the advertisement starts, and it takes 20-30 seconds for an X to pop up and turn off the ad.

But children that young don’t know they’re seeing an ad, and think it’s part of the game, so they keep watching and absorbing this information blindly.

Now, for parents that already use SaferNet, we have a list called an “Entourage” that you can get to in your profile. An entourage is essentially a list of websites in your network that track your IP address and try to find you and advertise to you. These are dangerous especially in the example that that someone using your IP address was looking inappropriate content, and they’ve now tracked you and start advertising to your family about this content. And then what happens? A toddler accidentally clicks on violent pornography advertisements. For people that don’t use SaferNet, there could be potentially hundreds of websites tracking your IP address and bombarding you with targeted ads.

The bottom line is that our kids’ activities should be kept as innocent as they are, and we strive for their safety and well-being at SaferNet.

One of our main features is blocking ads. They’re not only annoying, they’re potentially dangerous on a scale of identity theft. Our VPN technology protects against malware, botnets, ransomware, etc. that could be hidden in an advertisement trying to get your personal information. Imagine letting your child play with an app on your phone and they’ve opened an ad and started using your Google Wallet account? Now the person on the other side has your whereabouts and bank information. How scary is that?

Check out SaferNet’s features and start protecting your children today for $7.99/month: https://shop.safernetvpn.com/try-now/

Anywhere Protection – Keeping Your Kids Safe Outside of Home

It’s no lie that kids are constantly put in danger daily due to the use of online chats with strangers. Unfortunately, the statistics of children and teens meeting up with strangers from the internet are going up, and the percentage of children sharing this information with their parents is not just going down, but almost non-existent. The result of not taking internet precautions with your children can end up extremely severe, such as this case:

“A 23-year-old man has been detained on a range of criminal charges in Florida after allegedly driving more than four hours to kidnap and sexually assault a 10-year-old girl who was found cowering in a hotel bathroom with a pink dog collar around her neck, PEOPLE confirms.”

This article also confirmed:

“Law enforcement was notified the victim was missing after a note was found on her bed, saying she would be staying at a friend’s house for the next three days. Investigators examined her electronic devices and discovered disturbing exchanges she’d allegedly had with Fundora.”

She was found, and brought home safely to her parents. But the cold hard truth is that not all of these cases end with the victim being safe.

“A community is grieving the loss of 12-year-old Naomi Jones. The would-be sixth-grader was missing for five days before her body was found Monday. An Alabama man who is a registered sex offender has been arrested and charged with kidnapping, homicide and disposing of her body.” –  NWF Daily News

Absolutely tragic. A good majority of parents overlook the potential dangers of the internet because of not thinking big enough. A common phrase you’ll hear is “I raised my kids better than that, they know they can be honest with me”, and because it feels like an attack on their parenting and how they raise kids, the real problem is masked.

We’re not saying to not trust your own children, but we are saying you can never be too cautious with your child’s safety. The best way to be build trust with your child is to address the issue and take precautions, if your child is not willing to be safe for their own well-being, then sit down and have a talk with them on why it’s so important. Education is the best prevention against these horrifying cases involving internet predators and pedophiles.

Not only does SaferNet enable the ability to block websites that can potentially harm children, but it also has the ability to block the use of incognito tabs. If you’re not aware of what those are, incognito tabs are a private browsing window that doesn’t hold any history and can be closed instantly. You may not even be aware your kids use that to browse privately at things they don’t want to address with you the parent, or browse through websites they know they’re not supposed to be on, or even worse; talk to internet predators.

Prevention of these horrible incidents with children is SaferNet’s priority. Who wouldn’t want their children to be safe? Talk to your kids, install SaferNet, and never have to worry about your child’s safety on the internet again.

Sextortion – The New Blackmail Spiraling Out of Control

Amanda Todd was like every other 15-year-old teenage girl. She wanted to make new friends online. The friendly chats went a bit further when one of her friends asked her to show her breasts on camera. This is when Amanda made a mistake – complying to the request of an “online friend” she had never met in person. Not long after, she began to be blackmailed by that person demanding more revealing images of herself and a “performance” lest her image be circulated amongst friends and family. The threats escalated and when demands were not met, the image was circulated all over the web. A never-ending experience of taunts, humiliation, and cyber bullying culminated in Amanda being unable to bear the pressure and eventually committing suicide. As sharing sexts become common among teens, cases of sextortion (forcing someone to do sexual favors by threatening to leak naked pictures of the victim online) and blackmailing for money are spiraling out of control. The FBI admits that the crime has reached unprecedented levels and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the cases.

As sexting becomes a trend, children are putting themselves at risk. Online predators posing as young kids entice boys and girls to share nude images and later blackmail them.

Sextortion is not just limited to girls as boys are increasingly becoming the targets of this. A whole crime syndicate in Philippines targeted boys across the world by using social media. They then entice them to use video calls to engage in cybersex. Using pre-recorded videos of girls undressing, boys are enticed to do the same. Unsuspecting boys are then recorded and blackmailed for money. All victims, be it boys or girls, give in to the demands of the predator (be it giving money or meeting his perverted desires) in the hope that the blackmailer won’t circulate their images or videos online. And all are too embarrassed to share the problem with parents and approach the police making it more difficult to catch the criminals. Lesson for Parents: Win Child’s Trust Children are not speaking up. Embarrassment and fear of punishment is holding them back. As kids, they can’t always be trusted to make the right decisions. One mistake and they tend to cover up by making more. All this time they are bottling up shame and fear inside. One FBI special agent advices parents to talk to their children and let them know if they come forward, they are not going to suffer any punishment or ramification. Parents of sextortion victims wish that their kids had come to them earlier and told them the truth before it got so big. Talk to your kids like a friend and assure them that you stand with them, no matter what.

Keeping Kids Safe Online: 5 Things Parents Must Do

Besides having an open dialogue with children and making them aware of dangers online, you must put into implementation these 5 things for added safety:

Keep Your Devices Safe

First things first. Safer your devices, safer your kids are going to be. Anti-virus software’s are incapable of detecting advanced malware attacks. A Wi-Fi security solution will offer full protection. No possibility of malware attacks, ransomware attacks, phishing, and several other cybercrimes. For instance, WideFi blocks all threats in real time keeping your devices safe from any malware or other threat.

Block Adult Content

Block all possible websites and content that lure your kids into the murky world of internet. WideFi offers parents a “Remove Adult Content” feature that makes online browsing much less dangerous.

Keep a Check on Child’s Activity

Although it is a time-consuming task but do keep checking your child’s online activity at intervals – websites visited, apps visited and how long they spent on those. That ways, you can come to know if your kids are logging into chat rooms and other potentially dangerous platforms. WideFi offers this powerful feature too.

Own a VPN

Say goodbye to identity theft and hacking threats by owning a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN provides a secure environment within the internet and encrypts all information that passes through it making your data safe from hackers. WideFi lets you have your own Virtual Private Network and fend off online predators.

Lay Ground Rules

No online surfing during family time, lunch time and bed time. Besides ensuring that kids are using internet in a healthy way, it also gives family more time to share their day’s events. The more time the family members give to each other, more the chances that children will share school incidents and online experiences with you. If this becomes a practice, then kids will share unpleasant experiences too. WideFi assists parents in this task too. It offers parental controls “Family Time”, “Time Outs” and “Bed time” thus letting you control internet usage with click of a button.

SaferNet offers innovative new Wi-Fi Security Solutions for Home & Business.

Ultimately, the most powerful tool in protecting kids lies with you – Prevention through Education. You can’t spy 24/7 on your kids. But you can make them prepared for dealing with any unpleasant encounter. Also remember that your children won’t always become the victims, they can be the bully too. Sensitize them as to how labelling others or commenting in bad language can hurt others’ self-esteem. If they’re on the receiving end of cyberbullying, they must learn not to react as that is exactly what the bully is looking for. Last but not the least, make them believe that they can always share “anything” with you and you won’t judge or reprimand them. Sorry parents but the buck stops with you. For you are the guardians of their galaxy –real and online! P.S. SaferNet is the only wireless network security software that is 100% cloud based. That means, you don’t have to break a sweat in installing any hardware. Protect Your Kids with SaferNet.

Careful What Those Little Eyes See!

Parental Control Is Not An Option Anymore.

Doggy.

Your 6-year-old innocently types this word on Google hoping to get nice, cute images for her project. Yes, those cute, fuzzy canines with their heart-melting eyes pop up on the screen entertaining your child for several couple of minutes. Videos make her even happier. “But hey, what’s this video? Let me see” and the child is horrified to see a naked man and woman doing something that he or she can’t make any sense of!

There are hundreds, in fact thousands of such cases, where children are exposed to pornographic content accidentally. According to FamilySafeMedia, 90% of 8-16 year olds came across porn online while doing homework!

Porn is just one part of disturbing content filling up the internet for your children. There are far more dangerous types of content that your kid should never ever stumble upon, even when they’re teenagers.

Harmful Content You Must Protect Your Child From:

  1. Websites that show self-harm and drug use
  2. Websites that encourage eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia)
  3. Websites and blogs that show the efficacy of different methods of suicide
  4. Videos showing abuse, violence and cruelty to animals
  5. Violent video games
  6. Videos of beheading of people
  7. Material that encourages racial hatred, homophobia and misogyny
  8. Internet Pornography
  9. Foul Language Use

These 9 categories don’t cover all the disturbing content proliferating on the web. Children, especially older teens, are getting exposed to stuff we can’t even imagine. And to think why teens getting addicted to drugs, pornography, or suffering from mental and eating disorders!

We don’t mean to scare the parents reading this (but we probably will, because we’re scared too). But a blanket ban on kids going online is as good as not letting them go out on the street for who knows which predator is roaming the street at the same time. In an interesting article “The Loss of Childhood” published in the New York Times, the writer states, “The Age of Protection has ended. An Age of Preparation has set in.”

However, there is a need for protection like never before. Online predators, posing as young kids, are befriending gullible children, purposefully exposing them to pornography, or pressurizing them to share nude pictures of themselves so they can sexually exploit or blackmail them later (called sextortion). But how can you protect your kids from all this danger?

Protecting Your Kids From Adult Content:

It’s unlikely that a tween (kids between the ages of 5 and 12) would seek or come across such dangerous websites as illustrated above. But they do stumble upon sexually explicit content by typing innocent words in a search engine. A search on popular cartoon characters and pop singers often produce links that feature adult content.

According to a study by FamilySafeMedia, the average age of first internet exposure to pornography is just 11 years old. No, it’s not alright for such a young kid to be watching porn, whether accidentally or by intention. There’s nothing wrong with sex; there’s plenty wrong with porn. Here’s a list of reasons why:

How Early Exposure to Porn Affects Your Child:

Gone are the days when kids’ exposure to pornography was limited to Playboy and Penthouse magazines stashed under the mattresses. Now, it is all over the web, available 24/7 at the click of a button. The addictive nature of consuming pornography affects kids more than we can imagine.

  1. Anxiety & Shock- Kids exposed to sexually explicit content at a very young age experience anxiety and shock. Kids are not mature enough and the unfamiliar bodies engaging in those acts frighten them. Children also report feelings of disgust, shock, embarrassment, fear, and sadness after viewing the content (Manning, Jill, Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, 2006).
  1. Early Sex- According to a research by Elysia Walker and Dr Emily Doe from the University of Buckingham, exposure to sexually explicit material at a young age increases the likelihood of sexual behavior at an earlier age. The research revealed that for respondents, the first exposure to explicit content began at 12 years old and they initiated sexual behavior around a year
  1. High-Risk Sex- Frequent exposure to pornography is associated with multiple sexual partners and use of alcohol and drugs during sexual activity (Braun-Courville, D. and Rojas, M., Journal of Adolescent Health, 2009).
  1. Sexual Violence- Children under 12 years old who have viewed pornography are statistically more likely to sexually assault their peers. A child advocacy group interviewed 70 child sex-abuse victims and found that most of the predators were other children who were acting out the violent pornographic material they saw online. An officer’s statement is unbelievable to our ears, “We had a case recently where the victim is only 3 years old and the perpetrator is only 10 or 11 years old.”
  1. Sexting- Pornography is also leading to the dangerous trend of “sexting” as young girls are increasingly feeling the pressure to share naked images of themselves online (Van Ouytsel, , Ponnett, K., and Walrave, M., 2014).
  1. Gender Stereotypes- Most pornographic content is degrading to women and shows woman as submissive and men as aggressive. This leads to unhealthy perceptions and attitudes towards women who are “shown to enjoy sexual ”
  1. Porn Addiction: Thanks to the easy accessibility of porn and the desensitization effect, kids are increasingly getting addicted to it. According to a survey by NSPCC ChildLine, 10% of 12-13- year-olds are worried that they are “addicted” to

Studies are unearthing many more disturbing findings and correlation between porn and psychopathology. Porn isn’t the only thing that is upsetting kids. According to a news report by Guardian, children are as upset by violent videos on YouTube that feature animal cruelty or beheadings. That brings us to…

Kids and Violent Video Games:

Do playing violent video games make children violent? This question has been asked by many concerned parents who saw their kids passionately gun down people and steal cars in the name of fun. Academia has rigorously tested this proposition with mixed results. The debate has been raging for years and refuses to die down.

Recently, President Trump called a meeting to find a connection between mass shootings in school and violent video games. This might seem far-fetched to many but incidents like 2016 shooting in Munich, Germany, where the 18-year-old shooter was found to be a fan of first-person shooter video games concerns. ABC reported an incident where two teenagers in Tennessee shot at passing cars and killed one driver. The teens had got the idea from playing Grand Theft Auto III.

These facts are eye-openers for all of us: 90% of children in the United States play video games (Source: American Psychological Association). The number rises to 97% for kids between the ages of 12 and 17. More than 90% of video games involve mature content including violence.

Impact of Violent Video Games on Kids:

  1. Fear- Children, especially tweens, who are not mature enough to distinguish reality from fantasy, can get disturbed by violent content and come to perceive the world as a violent, scary
  2. Increase in Aggression and Violent Behavior- Children imitate what they see, as the famous Observational Learning Theory points out. Studies prove this further. In a randomized experiment, researchers Irwin & Gross found that boys who played a violent video game showed more physical aggression towards peers (e.g., hitting, shoving, pinching, kicking) as compared to boys who played a non-violent video
  3. Desensitization to Violence- Amongst teens and young adults, repeated exposure to violent content can make them desensitized towards it. Researchers Carnagey, Anderson and Bushman found that young adults also show physiological desensitization to real-life violence, as measured by less of an increase in heart rate and skin
  4. Lower Empathy and Compassion- According to American Psychological Association, exposure to violent video games is associated with lack of empathy and kindness. Researchers Bushman and Anderson found evidence to support this. They found that individuals who had played violent games, compared with non-violent, were less likely to report hearing a fight staged outside the laboratory, judged the fight as less serious, and were slower to respond when asked for
  5. Impact on Brain- Neuroimaging research is now showing us how media violence is affecting kids’ brain development. For instance, one research has found that teens exposed to violent video games experience a decrease in activity in their prefrontal cortex, which is associated with problem-solving and controlling of emotions (Tom A. Hummer, 2015).

For reasons of brevity, we are not citing all studies related to kids and violent video games here. But this much is firmly established that playing violent video games is a powerful risk factor. Violent behavior in children is a combination of many factors, such as violence at home or in neighborhood, socio-economic factors, the child’s personality, and exposure to media violence.

The growing popularity of Mature-rated (M-rated) games and depiction of sexual violence towards women in some games should make the parents be cautious of what games their kids are playing online.

Parental controls can help you monitor their online playtime.

Kids and Self-Harm Websites:

According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, an estimated 14% to 24% youth and young adults engage in non-suicidal self-injury such as cutting. Focusing on YouTube, world’s most popular online video community, researchers searched for content on “self-harm” and “self-injury”. The team identified top 50 videos that showed a live person and top 50 videos that showed words and visual elements. All 100 were viewed more than 2 million times!

How can you forget the panic that the infamous game Blue Whale Challenge recently created as kids jumped from buildings to their death to complete the challenge! The suicide game targeted teens using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram asking players to participate in 50-day challenge, ranging from dangerous tasks to self-harm and eventually suicide.

Another reason why parents should keep a track of what their kids are doing online, how long they’re spending on Internet, and what they’re downloading. It’s necessary we repeat this- get a Wi-Fi security software to ensure safe internet for your kids.

Kids & Pro-Anorexia Websites:

Young girls (or even boys) infatuated with thin bodies are at a great risk of visiting websites and joining forums that support eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. The creators of these sites and forums are themselves suffering from these eating disorders and encourage others to proudly embrace their condition “not as a disease but a lifestyle” and as “a quest for perfection”. And these websites are getting thousands of hits daily!

An estimated 11 million Americans suffer from anorexia or bulimia (Source: Time.com). A survey of adolescent anorexics and their parents conducted by Stanford University School of Medicine revealed that 39% of the kids were visiting pro-anorexia forums.

Terms like pro-ana, pro-mia, or just ana, and thinspiration constitute the lexicon of this community. Their “Thinspiration” galleries are full of stick-thin models and actresses. The encouragement by fellow anorexics to starve themselves, purge, eat less than 50 calories a day, etc. is making the problem even worse.

Parents should not only report such websites to help them get blocked but also get them blocked on their network using Parental Controls. After all, your child may stumble upon such a website while surfing fitness tips. Secondly, track the websites your kids are using and if you find them spending too much time reading stuff on losing weight, extreme diet control, and fitness tips, it’s time you have a talk with your kid about “ideal body” and “healthy diet.”

Avoid these potential dangers with SaferNet. Learn more about our features here.

Social Media Guide for Parents: Take the Matter Into Your Own Hands

Thanks to your consent (or none), the kids are on social media. How do you know if they’re accessing an adult website or not? They might be clever enough to delete history. A bigger concern – are the devices being used by you and your children safe from external threats? Take the matter into your own hands by securing your cyberspace from any kind of threat:

Protect Against Cyber Attacks

Smart home devices are increasing at an unprecedented rate. So is the threat of cyber-attacks and malicious activities. An estimated 60 -70% of all wireless networks DO NOT use any type of encryption and are thus vulnerable to security threats. 90% of connected devices store personal information (Source: TechGenix, 2005). No wonder there’s a new victim of identity theft every 2 seconds (Source: Javelin Strategy & Research)!

There is no stopping cyber-attacks. But you can stop them attacking your home!

No, a commercial antivirus software is not the solution. 55% of cyber-attacks go unnoticed by them (Source: The Guardian). You need a wireless network solution to have 100% security. SaferNet is a cloud- based Wi-Fi security software which creates a protective shell around your home’s IoT ecosystem, ensuring that not only your devices but your kid’s data is secured. SaferNet’s user-friendly dashboard shows all threats that are blocked in real time.

Even better, SaferNet lets you have your own Virtual Private Network (VPN). If you don’t know what a VPN is, it is a service that secures your internet from hackers trying to steal your information or redirect you to fraud websites.

Block Adult Content

Porn is a big concern for every parent. Children are getting exposed to pornography very early, some as early as 6 years. Even if children don’t go finding porn, porn finds them. A click by mistake, a pop-up ad, a video on social media timeline – there are many loopholes from where objectionable content can manifest on the child’s screen. Do we even need to say they need to be blocked? Duh!

Monitor Excessive Usage of Social Media

Social media risks are not always as big as sexting, cyber-bullying, sextortion, or pornography. Small aspects such as excessive usage of social media can have a significant impact on your child’s health, sleeping pattern, eating habits, and psychological well-being. There are many studies finding disturbing relationship between Facebook and depression among adolescents, social media and eating disorders. Regulate this usage by fixing the number of hours your kids can use internet.

If both the parties have agreed to 2 hours being the maximum time, let SaferNet automatically disable internet after that time. Obviously, you can’t be standing over your child 24/7 to count their usage!

SaferNet’s internet security solution offers easy to use Parental Controls “Family Time”, “Bed Times” and “Time Outs”. Its intuitive interface lets you monitor the internet usage, disable devices, block apps, and evaluate the current status of malware viruses being filtered out on a daily basis – all with clicks of a button on your mobile phone. In short, SaferNet promises to be your kids digital parent!

Control Apps, Websites and Content

Your kids are much smarter than you think, at least digitally. They know you check their smartphones regularly to see which apps are installed and browse their activity. A recent Colorado sexting scandal revealed use of photo vault apps that hide nude pictures by appearing to be a media player or a calculator. You need to be one step ahead of your children or be as smart. Know what your kids are doing online – apps visited (past and present) and applications visited (past and present) with a Wi-Fi security software.

Know what, when, where and how your home network is being used with SaferNet.

There are many home network security devices in the market. SaferNet is the only solution which is 100% cloud-based. No hardware installations! Not any. Every online activity and safety measure can be accessed with the click of a button on your device. And it is not just devices at your homes that we safeguard, we help secure a business network too.

Ensuring a safer internet for your child is not the responsibility of government and cyber cells alone. They aren’t safe in the first place. Take the matter into your hands starting today!

P.S. We would love to know your thoughts on social media age restrictions for children. When did you let your child join any of the social networking sites? Any advice for other parents? Post your comments in the box below.

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Parental Control Tips for Parents

Happy National Cyber Security Awareness Month! SaferNet is sharing our best parental control tips with you to ensure the safety of your children. Consider this:

  • 67% of teenagers say they know how to hide what they do online from parents (Source: Pew Research Center).
  • 10% have unlocked parental controls to disable filtering (Source: Pew Research Center).

Children are getting smarter. Stay one step ahead by using SaferNet security software and exercising these parental controls Block/Filter Content: Block adult websites using SaferNet’s “Remove Adult Content” feature. The search results will automatically filter out any inappropriate content be it pornography or graphic violence. SaferNet helps you outsmart your tech-savvy kids bent on disabling all filters.

  • Filtering Across All Devices- Whether your kid uses a desktop, laptop, iPad, or a mobile device, parental controls are automatically applied to all.
  • Filtering Across All Browsers- There are plenty of browsers like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc. Children can install a new one to override parental controls. But with SaferNet, no such luck. Kids can’t change settings without the parental control password.
  • Filtering Across All Search Engines- Whether your kid uses Yahoo, Google, Bing, or Duck Duck Go, your children get filtered results. Child Safe Internet is now possible!

Monitor Online Activity: Know what your kids are doing online, how much time they spent, and how much data they have downloaded. Be aware of the apps and websites they have visited (past and present). Even if children delete their browser history, you are always aware of what websites your kids are visiting. Control Web Usage: Also restrict the amount of time kids can spend online. Use parental controls – “Family Time”, “Bed Time” and “Time Outs” to ensure that kids do not get addicted to internet and children have time for offline activities, time for themselves, and family.

General Tips for Parents:

Parental controls are a must and will work smoothly where regulating the activity of tweens is concerned. But as they step into adolescence, there will be a natural curiosity in them to watch porn. Parental controls won’t go down well with them. In fact, the more you stop them from doing something, the more they’ll feel attracted to it. Adolescence and rebellion! We’ve all been there. But the world wide web, as it exists now, didn’t exist then. So, it’s a must that you educate your child and make them a responsible digital citizen so they won’t need as much parental control as they grow up. Here are a few practices that will help you achieve this:

    1. Talk About Sex: Parents dread this. But it’s better they come to know about this from you rather than the web.
    2. Draw a Line Between Right & Wrong: Why blame the internet for all evil? The hyper-sexualized media, especially television, will probably show your kid inappropriate content at a very young age. Do not skirt the issue but take it as an opportunity to show your disgust towards the material and discuss with your kid how those images are degrading and in bad taste. Your child will also develop a strong sense of morality and the ability to differentiate between good and bad.
    3. Set Cyber Rules: Hammer home the lesson that kids should never talk to strangers online, open spam email, share their personal information such as name, address and phone number. Also tell WHY they should not be doing this so that the child understands the gravity of all this. When they join social media, they should be instructed to keep the privacy settings to
    4. Make Them Aware of Online Dangers: Your kids should understand the consequences of bullying others or sending nude images of themselves known as “sexting”. Kids are impressionable, seek attention and often succumb to peer pressure. It’s important they understand that sharing inappropriate photos can be misused by online predators or even be circulated by friends. No kid wants to be a laughing stock or an object of ridicule in the school or on web. This threat alone will keep your child willingly away from

Open communication between parents and kids is the best firewall against inappropriate content and harmful websites. Your kids will come across disturbing content sooner or later. They should be prepared for it. Leave no stone unturned to let your kid know that they can always come to you if they come across disturbing content and that you will not scold them. Win their trust, teach them the right defensive strategies, but first safeguard your cyber world from all online dangers with parental controls and a security software! To know more about SaferNet’s wireless network security software and its features, visit our Features page here: https://safernetvpn.com/features/  

Keeping Kids Safe Online: A Must-Read Guide for Parents

Sorry Parents: You have a new job at hand. A critical job! And that’s to keep your kids safe online. Yes, protecting your kids from the “bad elements” in the real world is not enough. Online world is bigger, meaner, and scarier. And protecting your kids from all online dangers, be it predators, threats like cyberbullying, pornography or child trafficking, now falls upon your shoulders.

No, we don’t mean to scare you. Or put that crazy notion inside your head to keep kids away from going online. The cyber world is also a world of learning, connecting, and exploring. But you must be prepared for the worst! Like in the real world, in the cyber world there are the good guys and the bad guys. Your job is to fend off the bad and educate your child to fend for themselves at the same time. SaferNet, a Wi-Fi security software committed to a SaferNet for kids, is your partner in this endeavor. Together, we can become the “Guardians of the Web” for our children and help them make the best use of the online galaxy.

With audience amplified, cyberbullying becomes more dangerous than bullying in real world. On top of it, children are bottling up feelings and suffering alone.

Ryan Halligan was a sweet, gentle 13-year-old who enjoyed swimming, skateboarding, camping, and playing video games. He began to be bullied from 5th grade onwards which continued when he went to middle school. His concerned parents did their best to lift Ryan’s spirits but didn’t report the matter to school on Ryan’s repeated requests (a mistake on their part they realized too late).

Things got better for a while and Ryan was soon spending a lot of time with friends online on his AOL IM account. It was during a friendly chat that Ryan shared a personal, embarrassing incident with one of his friends. This friend circulated this information online and Ryan became once again a victim of bullying – this time on a larger scale. Unable to bear the taunts and the humiliation, Ryan committed suicide on October 7, 2003.

Could this have been prevented? Ryan’s parents had been a great moral support. They had put all relevant technological guidelines in place, in particular – No IMing/chatting with strangers, no sharing personal information and pictures with strangers and no secret passwords. How could have parents known that their child’s friends would drive him to take this extreme step! In hindsight, his father shares a piece of wisdom on a website dedicated to Ryan, that could possibly guide other parents: “I realized that technology was being utilized as weapons far more effective and reaching than the simple ones we had as kids. Passing handwritten notes or a “slam” book has since been replaced with online tools such as IM, websites, blogs, social media, anonymous posting applications, smart phones, etc. The list keeps growing with the invention of every new gadget and application.”

It is possible that Ryan might not have taken that unfortunate step if bullying had only been restricted to the real world. But this is wishful thinking. We can’t go back in time and make the online world disappear. But as parents, we can teach one thing to our children – good “Digital Citizenship”.

Key Lesson for Parents – Involve School in Your Dialogue:
Ryan’s father wishes he had not succumbed to Ryan’s requests and instead brought the matter to the notice of his teachers and school administration. He also wishes he had investigated why his son did not trust his school administration in the first place.
Kids might not be sharing all things that happen with them in school with you. If you notice your kids feeling depressed, get in touch with teachers, your kids’ friends, and the school administration.

Prevention Through Education:
A child safe internet is all of our responsibility. As Ryan’s father aptly describes the solution to this difficult problem:
“For too long, we have let kids and adults bully others as a rite of passage into adulthood… Like so many parents of our generation, we thought this would just be a phase, a part of growing up. But accountability and responsibility should be shared by others too – bullies, bystanders and their parents along with school administration and staff. Prevention through education should have always been a part of the curriculum. And it should have started at pre-K.”

Sex Trafficking – Social Media is the New Recruiting Tool
A teenage girl was contacted by a “modeling agent” on MySpace.com in the fall of 2008. Promising he could make her a “star” he gave her a bus ticket from Florida to Las Vegas, Nevada. The girl was groomed and lured into the world of erotic services. The Los Angeles police found, through an investigation, the real age of the girl and caught her recruiter named Dwayne Lawson. In June 2010, Lawson was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison. Most child victims of sex trafficking are often runaways, troubled, and homeless youth. Nonetheless, teens desiring to pursue the world of modeling become easy targets of child predators.

Internet safety for children begins at home. Parents or guardians must explain to kids why talking to strangers or sharing personal information such as name, address, and phone number can be dangerous. Even harmless images can be doctored and used by bad elements to further their nefarious intentions. Since you can’t be sitting on their head all the time, talk to your kids in detail about these matters. “Don’t do this, don’t do that” approach might backfire. It is imperative that they understand “why” they are not supposed to do that and “what” can happen if they do. Schools are doing their bit in this regard; if you pitch in too, your words might carry more weight.

Keep Your Family Safe with SaferNet.