Tech Savvy Kids Could Bring Malware Back Home From Public WiFi

What your kids do on their gadgets at school can have an effect on your devices at home.

As kids head back to school, a majority of parents surveyed say their kids will spend more time on devices than last year, and AVG Securitywarns, kids are far more likely to jump on public networks and take other security risks.

“this generation of children, the internet is like breathing, but they should be cautious,” Tony Anscomb of AVG said.

A recent survey by the security software company found a majority of parents believe their kids will spend more time on their devices this school year, and they’re more likely to take security risks like hopping on public WiFi.

Think about the info our kids are sharing. They’re on social media, email, and suddenly on public WiFi somebody sitting there sniffing that.

Providing valuable information to potential id thieves or other predators.

But, that’s not the only risk your kids may encounter while surfing public WiFi.  He explains hackers can download malware onto your kids device via un-encrypted networks. It may allow them to access personal information, and even steal identities.  And what’s on your kid’s device, can follow them home, and infect yours when they plug into a home computer or network.

“That malware could replicate onto other devices in the home,” Anscomb said.

So, how do you protect your kids when they’re out, and your own devices when they come home?

  • First, Tony recommends anti-virus software on every device to protect the family from malware.
  • Next, education is key. Make sure kids know not to click on email or text links, and warn them about the dangers of public WiFi.

You may also consider a VPN – virtual private network – which will encrypt the data on your child’s device, hiding it from bad guys.

But for parents, a VPN means you might not be able to monitor everything they do.

While AVG sells anti-virus software, experts commonly recommend anti-virus protection on your devices.

You can also consider a VPN – which encrypts your data on a public network.

VPN’s are often recommended for people who use public WiFi on planes or in hotels.


Julie Watts

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