keeping kids safe online - issue #3 - spyware

319711606_f13f17598e_m.jpgNote: This is an on going part of a look at six issues that we face in keeping our children and students safe online. We’ll be looking at the issue, discussing some solutions and recommending some free and commercial software that can help protect the children you work with online.

The issue: Spyware

Spyware is software that can be often installed while the user is unaware. Spyware often displays popups, records your computer use for marketing and can even be used to capture passwords to gain unauthorized access to your accounts.

Solutions:

- Have a spyware remover/scanner installed and running on your computer. Keep it up to date. Some good spyware scanners are Ad-Aware Free and Spybot.

- Set a policy for your family on downloading and installing software. Many parents might find it necessary to restrict installing software. If you allow your children to install software, be sure  to teach them how to recognize software that they should stay away from.

-Never install software designed to exchange music, movies or software illegally. Limewire and other peer-to-peer software can often be riddled with spyware.

-Google is your friend! Run a quick search on the software followed with spyware to see if it's been identified as something to stay away from!