About Safe Search

Safe Search Kids is powered by Google to deliver strict internet filtering.

Safe Image Search

Safe Search Kids delivers safe images, powered by Google.

Safe Wiki Search

Safe Search Kids delivers safe wiki articles for kids and teens.

Safe Video Search

Search for safe filtered videos from a variety of trusted sources.

Category: Internet Filtering & Security

Ransomware Protection

Ransomware Protection

Ransomware is malicious software that locks your computer including all your files so you can’t access them.  It can happen to individuals, businesses, schools and governments.  Your computer screen will show a message that your files have been ‘held for ransom’ and will be unlocked only if you pay.

The payment is most often requested in Bitcoin so that the identity of the thieves can’t be tracked.  The larger the organization the larger the payment amount will be, but it’s quite a hefty sum even for individuals.  Unfortunately, this encrypted ransomware software is so secure the only way to unlock the frozen computer files is to pay the ransom.  This is why it’s so important that individuals and institutions alike take steps to prevent ransomware from taking hold if their computer’s operating system in the first place.

How Does Ransomware Infect Computers?

This malicious software most often enters a victim’s computer through phishing emails.  An unsuspecting yet official request comes to you in an email and asks you to click a link or open an attached file.  This activates the ransomware immediately and your computer is locked.

Computers can also be hijacked by ransomware when you visit an infected website. It may not even be a link to a site in an email.  You may be surfing the web and be taken down a rabbit hole and end up on a seemingly innocent website that has been infected.  Or the website may have been created for the sole purpose of hosting ransomware.

How to Stop a Ransomware Attack

The first step to protecting yourself against ransomware is to never click a suspicious link in an email and be very cautious about opening attachments in emails from someone you don’t know.  You will also want to ensure you have proper anti-virus software on your computer to screen your emails and remove virus attachments, but it won’t stop a phishing link from arriving in your email.  Your operating system may already have a built in anti-virus program or it may be activated on your email server if you are a business or school.

Important:   Anti-virus programs do not block ransomware.  They simply quarantine viruses and malicious software in attachments to protect you from opening them. As mentioned, anti-virus software does not stop phishing emails either.

The only reliable and secure way to prevent someone from locking your computer files is to install anti-malware software that also provides ransomware protection.  MalwareBytes is a software program that blocks a variety of cyber attacks, as well as any ransomware attacks that come to you via an email attachment or when visiting an infected website.

When ransomware where infects a single computer within an organization it quickly spreads throughout the entire network to lock all files on the network.

Anti-Virus vs Malware (and Ransomware) Protection

Computer protection can easily become confusing.  How many different internet security solutions does a person need to feel safe online?  Let’s review what we’ve discussed.

Anti-Virus:  This is the most commonly promoted software related to internet security.  But before you buy anti-virus software, research what built-in protection your computer may already have.  The main benefit to anti-virus is to stop viruses from coming to you in emails, but anti-virus will not stop a phishing email with a link to a virus or to malware such as ransomware.  Most phishing emails exist to fool you into logging into you personal account to steal your user name and password, but that doesn’t mean it could be to other harmful malware such as ransomware.

Anti-Malware:  This is not a new software program but it is commonly overlooked when many people think about online security.  Any built in security that comes with your operating system, or an anti-virus program, will not stop malware related internet threats such as spyware, Trojan Horses, bots, adware and worst of all Ransomware.  Read more about how anti-malware protects your computer.

Being a victim of Ransomware may be one of the most scary things that can happen to a computer because it can end up costing you or a large organization a lot of money.  Some people who have paid the request ransom find the online cyber thieves asking for more money before computer files are unlocked for the victim.  Education only goes so far to stop it come happening.  Prevention through software is a small price to pay, especially for a larger institution.

What is Ransomware?  Watch this video, then click the link below to make sure you are protected.

Protect Your Files Against Ransomware

Ransomware is malicious software that locks your computer including all your files so you can’t access them.  It can happen to individuals, businesses, schools and governments.  Your computer screen will show a message that your files have been ‘held for ransom’ and will be unlocked only if you pay.

The payment is most often requested in Bitcoin so that the identity of the thieves can’t be tracked.  The larger the organization the larger the payment amount will be, but it’s quite a hefty sum even for individuals.  Unfortunately, this encrypted ransomware software is so secure the only way to unlock the frozen computer files is to pay the ransom.  This is why it’s so important that individuals and institutions alike take steps to prevent ransomware from taking hold if their computer’s operating system in the first place.

How Does Ransomware Infect Computers?

This malicious software most often enters a victim’s computer through phishing emails.  An unsuspecting yet official request comes to you in an email and asks you to click a link or open an attached file.  This activates the ransomware immediately and your computer is locked.

Computers can also be hijacked by ransomware when you visit an infected website. It may not even be a link to a site in an email.  You may be surfing the web and be taken down a rabbit hole and end up on a seemingly innocent website that has been infected.  Or the website may have been created for the sole purpose of hosting ransomware.

How to Stop a Ransomware Attack

The first step to protecting yourself against ransomware is to never click a suspicious link in an email and be very cautious about opening attachments in emails from someone you don’t know.  You will also want to ensure you have proper anti-virus software on your computer to screen your emails and remove virus attachments, but it won’t stop a phishing link from arriving in your email.  Your operating system may already have a built in anti-virus program or it may be activated on your email server if you are a business or school.

Important:   Anti-virus programs do not block ransomware.  They simply quarantine viruses and malicious software in attachments to protect you from opening them. As mentioned, anti-virus software does not stop phishing emails either.

The only reliable and secure way to prevent someone from locking your computer files is to install anti-malware software that also provides ransomware protection.  MalwareBytes is a software program that blocks a variety of cyber attacks, as well as any ransomware attacks that come to you via an email attachment or when visiting an infected website.

When ransomware where infects a single computer within an organization it quickly spreads throughout the entire network to lock all files on the network.

Anti-Virus vs Malware (and Ransomware) Protection

Computer protection can easily become confusing.  How many different internet security solutions does a person need to feel safe online?  Let’s review what we’ve discussed.

Anti-Virus:  This is the most commonly promoted software related to internet security.  But before you buy anti-virus software, research what built-in protection your computer may already have.  The main benefit to anti-virus is to stop viruses from coming to you in emails, but anti-virus will not stop a phishing email with a link to a virus or to malware such as ransomware.  Most phishing emails exist to fool you into logging into you personal account to steal your user name and password, but that doesn’t mean it could be to other harmful malware such as ransomware.

Anti-Malware:  This is not a new software program but it is commonly overlooked when many people think about online security.  Any built in security that comes with your operating system, or an anti-virus program, will not stop malware related internet threats such as spyware, Trojan Horses, bots, adware and worst of all Ransomware.  Read more about how anti-malware protects your computer.

Being a victim of Ransomware may be one of the most scary things that can happen to a computer because it can end up costing you or a large organization a lot of money.  Some people who have paid the request ransom find the online cyber thieves asking for more money before computer files are unlocked for the victim.  Education only goes so far to stop it come happening.  Prevention through software is a small price to pay, especially for a larger institution.

What is Ransomware?  Watch this video, then click the link below to make sure you are protected.

Protect Your Files Against Ransomware

How to Report a Phishing Email

Report Email Phishing

Hopefully when you received a phishing email regarding one of your online accounts you didn’t click the link and try to login. This is how hackers attempt to gain access to your account without you knowing. If you did login, immediately close your browser. Then, re-open it and go to the proper sign page through your browser and change your password.

We all get phishing attempts via email but we can do more than just educate ourselves on how to prevent being tricked. Before you delete the phishing email report it to the proper website that the phishing email is trying to access. These same companies have cyber security people that you can forward the email to.  Simultaneously you can report all phishing attempts to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org

When concerned about possible virus infection of your computer perform a malware scan. To clarify, most phishing attempts are not created to infect and take over your computer.  Rather, the goal of phishing is to learn your account login details so they can steal your personal information.

Below are some of the more common companies that identity thieves try to mimic. These are just examples and there are many others.  If you don’t see the contact information below for the company you are looking for, simply Google it safely at the top of our website. For example, if the phishing attempt is in regards to PayPal, Google “Report PayPal Phishing”.  Often, you will find an email address posted that you can forward the phishing email to.

Top Phishing Email Examples

In addition to forwarding phishing emails to appropriate companies and to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, you can also report the phishing link to Google but be careful. Don’t open the link in a browser, simple right click the link and select copy hyperlink. Cut and paste that link into the Google submission form and submit. Then, delete the phishing email. 

Here are a few examples of the top companies whose account holders are the top targets.  These companies want you to forward phishing emails to them so they can prevent future fishing attacks.

PayPal

PayPal is a top target of phishing because it gives thieves direct access to your money. If if you don’t currently have funds in your PayPal account, people with access can make payments out of a bank account or credit card that you have linked to. Report PayPal phishing attempts to spoof@paypal.com which can also be accessed on their PayPal suspicious activity.

If you have clicked a bad link or are worried about whether your account has been compromised change your password immediately. Learn more about how PayPal deals with account fraud.

DocuSign

Often, phishing links for DocuSign will go to Google Docs.  This may appear legitimate because it is using the Google domain but really it is someone with a Google account hosting a bad doc to gain your personal information.  Be proactive and report suspicious emails to DocuSign’s security team at spam@docusign.com. If you feel the security of your account is at risk, contact DocuSign customer support.

Below are some tips to help spot the difference between real and spoof DocuSign emails: 

All URLs to view or sign DocuSign documents will contain “docusign.net/” and will always start with https.  All legitimate DocuSign envelopes include a unique security code at the bottom of notification emails. If you do not see this code, don’t click on any links or open any attachments within the email.

For the latest DocuSign security and system performance information, visit the DocuSign Trust Center

Netflix

Because Netflix is such a popular streaming service these days, it’s one of the more popular targets for phishing. Netflix states that they will never ask you to click a link to enter personal information about your account. Even if you are not sure the email you receive is a phishing attempt, report it to Netflix by forwarding the email to phishing@netflix.com. If you want to check your account to see if something is wrong with your billing, for example, go to Netflix.com directly or via a bookmark you’ve already saved to log into your account.

Here is a classic phishing email that Netflix would never send to you.

Dear user, We’re having some trouble with your current billing information. We’ll try again, but in the meantime you may want to update your payment details.

Most phishing emails feature proper links to the company at the bottom of the email, such as the Netflix support page or contact page. This is to trick you into thinking it’s legit. However, the link in the middle of the email goes to a different website.

Banks and Credit Card Companies

You may only have one bank account and one credit card. So when you receive an email from a bank that you don’t have an account with, it’s easy to ignore. You may even be thinking, why would they send this to me? Well, cyberthieves use spam internet servers to sent the phishing email to millions of people because they know at a percentage of those on the list will have an account with a particular bank.

This is why you will sometimes get an email that looks like it’s from your bank. Don’t worry, the scam artist probably doesn’t know you have an account with a certain bank. You are simply one of millions of people on a list.

Chase is one of the top banks that phishing emails try to mimic.  But really, there are too many banks and credit card companies to list, so it’s wise to be wary of any email from your bank.  Any information you need to know about your bank account will be within your account, so just go to your regular bookmark in your browser to login or to go Google and search for your bank.  You never have to worry if you always go directly to your bank to see if there are any important notifications for you.  Or just call you bank. 

To report a phishing email to your specific bank, search for your financial institution on Google by typing in your bank name followed by the keywords ‘report phishing email’.

Apple

Apple is a big one.  Your user name and password gives phishing attempts access to your iCloud account where all of your files are stored, including your contacts and pictures.  If you see any email that looks suspicious report it to Apple by forwarding the email to reportphishing@apple.com.  Apple will never ask you to verify your identity using your password.  They also recommend to protect your Apple ID by using two-factor authentication.  This security measure is available with many online accounts where a code is sent to you via text or email to complete your login.  This means that even if hackers gain access to your user name and password and try to log in, you will get a notification, but unless they have access to your phone, they can’t gain access.

Courier Companies and Shipping Outlets

Couriers include companies like Fed Ex, UPS, DHL Express, Purolator, and USPS.  Shipping may also come from online stores who use couriers, such as Amazon and Target.  The email may say something line “We are having trouble delivering your shipment!”  If you are expecting a shipment, you will immediately be concerned.  If you are not expecting a shipment you may wonder why you are receiving a product when you didn’t order anything. This is probably a phishing email, but even if it isn’t look closely at the email.  It’s always best not click any links and simply go to your account directly through your browser.  If you don’t have an account with a specific store, such as Walmart, then you know it is more than likely a phishing email.  Report it to the company concerned then delete the email.

Amazon

Many people have an Amazon account.  You may get an email from Amazon asking for your to login to correct a problem.  This is more than likely phishing.  Do not login using the link in the mail. Go directly to your Amazon account from your browser to see if there are any issues.  Amazon also uses couriers and the same safety rules apply.  Amazon usually notifies online shoppers that a real shipment has been delivered to their door, but they will never put a link in that email and ask you to check on your shipment.  Forward all suspicious emails to Amazon at stop-spoofing@amazon.com

Facebook

Facebook is one of the largest website in the world with over 2.7 billion active users.  They have taken great strides to protect against phishing and promote that they take seriously all phishing reports when you forward the email to phish@fb.com.   They have also set up security tools to prevent outsiders from signing into your account.  Like many online accounts they recommend and offer ‘two factor authentication’.  They will also email you of suspicious login attempts when you set up to receive unrecognized login notifications.

Additional Targeted Companies of Phishing Emails

If you have scrolled down to this bottom of this email looking for a company that is not listed above, below are are few safe links or email addresses to report a phishing attempt to that company. Reporting phishing is important so that collectively, we can work to shut down the hackers and scammers who are trying to steal personal information from millions of account holders around the world.

A Quick Review of What to Do When you Receive a Suspected Phishing email.

  • Don’t click any link to login to your account.  Go directly to your account via your browser bookmark or by searching for it on Google.  If you don’t have an account related to the email, it’s probably a phishing attempt and you have nothing to worry about.
  • Before deleting the phishing email, forward the email to the company the identity thieves are pretending to be.
  • Report the phishing link to Google but be careful how you copy the link to paste it on Google’s reporting page. Never click the link.  Instead, right click on the link to copy the hyperlink. Then delete the email.
  • When you forward a phishing email to any company, cc the email to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org

Here are additional emails not written about above that you can report phishing emails to:

  • eBay: spoof@ebay.com
  • Chase:   phishing@chase.com
  • Microsoft:  phish@office365.microsoft.com
  • Comcast:  abuse@comcast.net
  • WhatsApp:   Learn more about WhatsApp security issues.

Report Phishing Email to Gmail

This image below shows you how to report amy phishing attempt that is sent to your Gmail. To access this, you need to be signed into the web version of your gmail account. Reporting these emails will help reduce phishing and spam emails to your Gmail, but you should also report emails to the company being spoofed.

To report phishing to Gmail follow the steps below.  1) On an open email, select the drop down menu on the top right. 2) Select Report Phishing.Report Email Phishing to Gmail

About Google Account Security:  Since Google accounts only have one login to multiple website, including YouTube and the multiple apps within Google for Education, consider setting up Two Factor Authentication to protect your account.

Additional Resources

Make sure your computer is not infected with Malware because you clicked a phishing email, scan your computer and protect against future attacks.

Learn more about Phishing and the new ways hackers use to steal peoples personal information.  Read about Smishing (Text) and Vishing (Phone) Scams.

Hopefully when you received a phishing email regarding one of your online accounts you didn’t click the link and try to login. This is how hackers attempt to gain access to your account without you knowing. If you did login, immediately close your browser. Then, re-open it and go to the proper sign page through your browser and change your password.

We all get phishing attempts via email but we can do more than just educate ourselves on how to prevent being tricked. Before you delete the phishing email report it to the proper website that the phishing email is trying to access. These same companies have cyber security people that you can forward the email to.  Simultaneously you can report all phishing attempts to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org

When concerned about possible virus infection of your computer perform a malware scan. To clarify, most phishing attempts are not created to infect and take over your computer.  Rather, the goal of phishing is to learn your account login details so they can steal your personal information.

Below are some of the more common companies that identity thieves try to mimic. These are just examples and there are many others.  If you don’t see the contact information below for the company you are looking for, simply Google it safely at the top of our website. For example, if the phishing attempt is in regards to PayPal, Google “Report PayPal Phishing”.  Often, you will find an email address posted that you can forward the phishing email to.

Top Phishing Email Examples

In addition to forwarding phishing emails to appropriate companies and to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, you can also report the phishing link to Google but be careful. Don’t open the link in a browser, simple right click the link and select copy hyperlink. Cut and paste that link into the Google submission form and submit. Then, delete the phishing email. 

Here are a few examples of the top companies whose account holders are the top targets.  These companies want you to forward phishing emails to them so they can prevent future fishing attacks.

PayPal

PayPal is a top target of phishing because it gives thieves direct access to your money. If if you don’t currently have funds in your PayPal account, people with access can make payments out of a bank account or credit card that you have linked to. Report PayPal phishing attempts to spoof@paypal.com which can also be accessed on their PayPal suspicious activity.

If you have clicked a bad link or are worried about whether your account has been compromised change your password immediately. Learn more about how PayPal deals with account fraud.

DocuSign

Often, phishing links for DocuSign will go to Google Docs.  This may appear legitimate because it is using the Google domain but really it is someone with a Google account hosting a bad doc to gain your personal information.  Be proactive and report suspicious emails to DocuSign’s security team at spam@docusign.com. If you feel the security of your account is at risk, contact DocuSign customer support.

Below are some tips to help spot the difference between real and spoof DocuSign emails: 

All URLs to view or sign DocuSign documents will contain “docusign.net/” and will always start with https.  All legitimate DocuSign envelopes include a unique security code at the bottom of notification emails. If you do not see this code, don’t click on any links or open any attachments within the email.

For the latest DocuSign security and system performance information, visit the DocuSign Trust Center

Netflix

Because Netflix is such a popular streaming service these days, it’s one of the more popular targets for phishing. Netflix states that they will never ask you to click a link to enter personal information about your account. Even if you are not sure the email you receive is a phishing attempt, report it to Netflix by forwarding the email to phishing@netflix.com. If you want to check your account to see if something is wrong with your billing, for example, go to Netflix.com directly or via a bookmark you’ve already saved to log into your account.

Here is a classic phishing email that Netflix would never send to you.

Dear user, We’re having some trouble with your current billing information. We’ll try again, but in the meantime you may want to update your payment details.

Most phishing emails feature proper links to the company at the bottom of the email, such as the Netflix support page or contact page. This is to trick you into thinking it’s legit. However, the link in the middle of the email goes to a different website.

Banks and Credit Card Companies

You may only have one bank account and one credit card. So when you receive an email from a bank that you don’t have an account with, it’s easy to ignore. You may even be thinking, why would they send this to me? Well, cyberthieves use spam internet servers to sent the phishing email to millions of people because they know at a percentage of those on the list will have an account with a particular bank.

This is why you will sometimes get an email that looks like it’s from your bank. Don’t worry, the scam artist probably doesn’t know you have an account with a certain bank. You are simply one of millions of people on a list.

Chase is one of the top banks that phishing emails try to mimic.  But really, there are too many banks and credit card companies to list, so it’s wise to be wary of any email from your bank.  Any information you need to know about your bank account will be within your account, so just go to your regular bookmark in your browser to login or to go Google and search for your bank.  You never have to worry if you always go directly to your bank to see if there are any important notifications for you.  Or just call you bank. 

To report a phishing email to your specific bank, search for your financial institution on Google by typing in your bank name followed by the keywords ‘report phishing email’.

Apple

Apple is a big one.  Your user name and password gives phishing attempts access to your iCloud account where all of your files are stored, including your contacts and pictures.  If you see any email that looks suspicious report it to Apple by forwarding the email to reportphishing@apple.com.  Apple will never ask you to verify your identity using your password.  They also recommend to protect your Apple ID by using two-factor authentication.  This security measure is available with many online accounts where a code is sent to you via text or email to complete your login.  This means that even if hackers gain access to your user name and password and try to log in, you will get a notification, but unless they have access to your phone, they can’t gain access.

Courier Companies and Shipping Outlets

Couriers include companies like Fed Ex, UPS, DHL Express, Purolator, and USPS.  Shipping may also come from online stores who use couriers, such as Amazon and Target.  The email may say something line “We are having trouble delivering your shipment!”  If you are expecting a shipment, you will immediately be concerned.  If you are not expecting a shipment you may wonder why you are receiving a product when you didn’t order anything. This is probably a phishing email, but even if it isn’t look closely at the email.  It’s always best not click any links and simply go to your account directly through your browser.  If you don’t have an account with a specific store, such as Walmart, then you know it is more than likely a phishing email.  Report it to the company concerned then delete the email.

Amazon

Many people have an Amazon account.  You may get an email from Amazon asking for your to login to correct a problem.  This is more than likely phishing.  Do not login using the link in the mail. Go directly to your Amazon account from your browser to see if there are any issues.  Amazon also uses couriers and the same safety rules apply.  Amazon usually notifies online shoppers that a real shipment has been delivered to their door, but they will never put a link in that email and ask you to check on your shipment.  Forward all suspicious emails to Amazon at stop-spoofing@amazon.com

Facebook

Facebook is one of the largest website in the world with over 2.7 billion active users.  They have taken great strides to protect against phishing and promote that they take seriously all phishing reports when you forward the email to phish@fb.com.   They have also set up security tools to prevent outsiders from signing into your account.  Like many online accounts they recommend and offer ‘two factor authentication’.  They will also email you of suspicious login attempts when you set up to receive unrecognized login notifications.

Additional Targeted Companies of Phishing Emails

If you have scrolled down to this bottom of this email looking for a company that is not listed above, below are are few safe links or email addresses to report a phishing attempt to that company. Reporting phishing is important so that collectively, we can work to shut down the hackers and scammers who are trying to steal personal information from millions of account holders around the world.

A Quick Review of What to Do When you Receive a Suspected Phishing email.

  • Don’t click any link to login to your account.  Go directly to your account via your browser bookmark or by searching for it on Google.  If you don’t have an account related to the email, it’s probably a phishing attempt and you have nothing to worry about.
  • Before deleting the phishing email, forward the email to the company the identity thieves are pretending to be.
  • Report the phishing link to Google but be careful how you copy the link to paste it on Google’s reporting page. Never click the link.  Instead, right click on the link to copy the hyperlink. Then delete the email.
  • When you forward a phishing email to any company, cc the email to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org

Here are additional emails not written about above that you can report phishing emails to:

  • eBay: spoof@ebay.com
  • Chase:   phishing@chase.com
  • Microsoft:  phish@office365.microsoft.com
  • Comcast:  abuse@comcast.net
  • WhatsApp:   Learn more about WhatsApp security issues.

Report Phishing Email to Gmail

This image below shows you how to report amy phishing attempt that is sent to your Gmail. To access this, you need to be signed into the web version of your gmail account. Reporting these emails will help reduce phishing and spam emails to your Gmail, but you should also report emails to the company being spoofed.

To report phishing to Gmail follow the steps below.  1) On an open email, select the drop down menu on the top right. 2) Select Report Phishing.Report Email Phishing to Gmail

About Google Account Security:  Since Google accounts only have one login to multiple website, including YouTube and the multiple apps within Google for Education, consider setting up Two Factor Authentication to protect your account.

Additional Resources

Make sure your computer is not infected with Malware because you clicked a phishing email, scan your computer and protect against future attacks.

Learn more about Phishing and the new ways hackers use to steal peoples personal information.  Read about Smishing (Text) and Vishing (Phone) Scams.

4 Apps to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

App Use Safety for Kids

The internet offers a wealth of education and opportunity for kids, but many parents worry about the dangerous side of the online world—namely, the opportunity for their kids to stumble across inappropriate content or unsafe websites.

Or a child may unknowingly reveal private information to a stranger. This is where a few apps come in handy. Some of these apps are free, while others employ more parental controls in an app as well as on desktop.

These four apps were designed with parents’ concerns in mind to help you keep your kids safe online.

1. KidzSearch Internet Filtering

Sometimes something as simple or harmless as a misspelling can result in a search result gone afoul. Instead of letting your kid use Google.com for searches, KidzSearch automatically filters Google to remove inappropriate content and unsafe websites. It also blocks misspellings of words that could lead a child to a bad website. With this app, your kids can use the internet as they typically would, and the parental filter helps keep them safe. This is the same filtering being used on our website Safe Search Kids, only through an app for mobile devices.  Whether on our site or through the app, use of this internet filtering service is free.

Download the KidzSearch App for iOS devices or Android devices.

KidzSearch also available on Kindle Fire / Amazon.


2. Net Nanny Content Filtering

This app offers everything you need to monitor your kids’ smartphone activity, from blocking access to adult content and suspicious search results to monitoring app usage and setting device screen time limits.   You can also view your family’s account using the Parent Dashboard and set levels of freedom according to age and times of day. Net Nanny has been providing parental controls since before apps where even a thing and today you can download it according to your family needs. 

Download the Net Nanny Safe Kids app for iOS devices or Android devices.


3. Kidgy

Wish you could know where your kid is at all times? Now you can with the Kidgy app. This location-sharing app makes it easy to keep track of your family and monitor their online activity. Check the real-time location of your kids, receive alerts when they leave from or arrive at home or school, set tasks for them to complete, and monitor text messaging.

Download the Kidgy app for iOS devices or Android devices.


4. DinnerTime Plus

Getting kids to disconnect from their devices isn’t an easy task. This app makes it easier to require phone breaks. With a few clicks of a button, you can set time limits, requiring your kid to take scheduled breaks during dinner time, study time, and bedtime. You can also set schedules for how much time they can spend online and receive real-time usage monitoring.

Download the DinnerTime Plus app for iOS devices or Android devices.



With a few apps on your phone, you can always oversee your kids’ online activity. And remember, for these apps to work, you and your kids should have reliable internet access on your phones.

Setting up a hotspot will keep your child connected so you can use these apps and monitor their whereabouts and online searches any time you need.

Consider running a speed test as you’ll want to make sure you get at least 10 Mbps from your internet connection (more if you use a lot of devices in your home).

Once your apps are installed, you can feel more at ease with your kids’ online activity.

Safe Search Kids Victoria Schmid enjoys writing about technology for the “everyday” person. She is a specialist in online business marketing and consumer technology. She has a background in broadcast journalism.

The internet offers a wealth of education and opportunity for kids, but many parents worry about the dangerous side of the online world—namely, the opportunity for their kids to stumble across inappropriate content or unsafe websites.

Or a child may unknowingly reveal private information to a stranger. This is where a few apps come in handy. Some of these apps are free, while others employ more parental controls in an app as well as on desktop.

These four apps were designed with parents’ concerns in mind to help you keep your kids safe online.

1. KidzSearch Internet Filtering

Sometimes something as simple or harmless as a misspelling can result in a search result gone afoul. Instead of letting your kid use Google.com for searches, KidzSearch automatically filters Google to remove inappropriate content and unsafe websites. It also blocks misspellings of words that could lead a child to a bad website. With this app, your kids can use the internet as they typically would, and the parental filter helps keep them safe. This is the same filtering being used on our website Safe Search Kids, only through an app for mobile devices.  Whether on our site or through the app, use of this internet filtering service is free.

Download the KidzSearch App for iOS devices or Android devices.

KidzSearch also available on Kindle Fire / Amazon.


2. Net Nanny Content Filtering

This app offers everything you need to monitor your kids’ smartphone activity, from blocking access to adult content and suspicious search results to monitoring app usage and setting device screen time limits.   You can also view your family’s account using the Parent Dashboard and set levels of freedom according to age and times of day. Net Nanny has been providing parental controls since before apps where even a thing and today you can download it according to your family needs. 

Download the Net Nanny Safe Kids app for iOS devices or Android devices.


3. Kidgy

Wish you could know where your kid is at all times? Now you can with the Kidgy app. This location-sharing app makes it easy to keep track of your family and monitor their online activity. Check the real-time location of your kids, receive alerts when they leave from or arrive at home or school, set tasks for them to complete, and monitor text messaging.

Download the Kidgy app for iOS devices or Android devices.


4. DinnerTime Plus

Getting kids to disconnect from their devices isn’t an easy task. This app makes it easier to require phone breaks. With a few clicks of a button, you can set time limits, requiring your kid to take scheduled breaks during dinner time, study time, and bedtime. You can also set schedules for how much time they can spend online and receive real-time usage monitoring.

Download the DinnerTime Plus app for iOS devices or Android devices.



With a few apps on your phone, you can always oversee your kids’ online activity. And remember, for these apps to work, you and your kids should have reliable internet access on your phones.

Setting up a hotspot will keep your child connected so you can use these apps and monitor their whereabouts and online searches any time you need.

Consider running a speed test as you’ll want to make sure you get at least 10 Mbps from your internet connection (more if you use a lot of devices in your home).

Once your apps are installed, you can feel more at ease with your kids’ online activity.

Safe Search Kids Victoria Schmid enjoys writing about technology for the “everyday” person. She is a specialist in online business marketing and consumer technology. She has a background in broadcast journalism.

9 Proven Ways To Enhance Your Email Privacy!

9 Proven Ways To Enhance Your Email Privacy

Even though WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat among others are the go-to social media platforms for instant communications, we still heavily rely on emails even in 2020. So why does there seem to be little focus on ways to protect our email privacy?

Afterall, we use emails to share our financial information with our accountants, manage online money transfer services like PayPal, and even use it to create all of our social media accounts. In a sense, our personal lives are linked to our email addresses.

Despite being such a major part of our life and the fact that 320 billion people are expected to be using it by 2021, email remains as one of the least secure means of communication. Believe it or not, email technology is still based on protocols that can’t cope up with modern online security threats.

Getting your email hacked might not seem like a big deal for kids, but for adults, it can be an absolute nightmare.

Keeping this in mind, in today’s informative blog post, I’m going to talk about why email privacy is so important, share with you some real-world email hacking case studies, and also tell you 9 proven tips to enhance your email privacy.

Why Email Privacy Matters?

Think about it for a second, everything you do online is connected to your email address. Whether it be online banking or something as simple as signing up for any online service, you’ll have to provide an email address to get started. Once you get registered, you usually get your account details such as username and password emailed back to you.

If a hacker gains access to your emails, all hell can break loose. According to VPNRanks, about 92% of malware is delivered through emails. That’s an alarming figure.

If a hacker gains access to your account, they can obtain sensitive information such as account credentials, personal information, and even steal your identity.

Now you must be thinking, how on earth can someone read my emails when no one knows my password?

Well, unlike the messages we send over WhatApp and other end-to-end encrypted messaging services, emails go through numerous servers before reaching their destination.

Whenever an email passes through an intermediary server, multiple copies of it are stored. While one server might be difficult to hack, others might not be. That’s how your emails get compromised.

Think I’m making this up?

Well, you can enter your email address on haveibeenpwned.com and check whether anyone has compromised your privacy.

Anyways, if you still have doubts, let’s check out some real-world use cases where people have actually lost a ton of money simply because their email addresses got hacked.

Real-World Email Hacking Cases

I’m going to share with you two actual cases that resulted in the loss of thousands of dollars simply because some hackers managed to gain access to the email accounts of unsuspected victims.

Case #1 – $47,500 Stolen From a Pensioner

A pensioner in Brisbane Australia bore a loss of $47,500 when he became a victim of an identity theft case. A hacker managed to hack into the victim’s account and send a series of convincing emails to the advisor managing his pension funds.

The hacker requested to deposit $90,000 to an overseas bank account as his daughter desperately needed money. The advisor got convinced and sent over a Pension Payment Request form telling the hacker that only $47,500 can be withdrawn.

The hacker filled in the form with all the details stolen from the client’s email account and told the adviser not to call him as he’s attending a funeral.

The advisor respected the client’s request thinking it was genuine and processed the withdrawal request right away. Till the real client could manage to explain that his email account got hacked a few days ago, the funds were already transferred to an offshore account.

Case #2 – Barely Dodged an Email Fraud of $260,000

Another financial adviser based in Australia was also targeted by a hacker, however, she managed to dodge a fraud of $260,000.

A hacker emailed her from her client’s email address that got hacked, requesting her to change the email address to a new one. The new email address only had one letter missing — “g”.

The hacker then sent an email from the new email account telling the advisor to deposit $260,000 in an offshore account because they wanted to buy some property. The email seemed totally legit, however, since the amount was quite substantial, the advisor wanted to talk to the client personally for authenticity reasons.

However, the real client was unreachable over the phone, and the transaction got delayed. In desperation, the hacker contacted the adviser via a phony contact number that was associated with the new bogus email address.

However, upon getting in contact, the adviser quickly figured out that the person on the phone was not the real customer judging from the accent, and refused to process the request.

9 Tips to Enhance Your Email Privacy

So by now, you must have an idea of how a hacker can take over your life if your email address gets compromised. But it’s not the end of the world. Now, we’re going to look at 9 proven easy tips to enhance the privacy of your email accounts.

Tip #1 – Use More Than One Email Address

You should never rely on just a single email account for work and personal use. Always use two different email accounts to segregate your work mailbox from your personal mailbox. This will ensure that you’re not putting all your eggs in the same basket.

If you want to take this strategy to another level, you can create different disposable email addresses when signing up for any service online. This way, you’ll never risk your personal information.

Tip #2 – Use Strong Passwords

Probably the most basic reason why most people lose their email accounts is that they use weak passwords. Passwords like your name followed by a sequence of numbers (John12345678) are really easy to crack.

With your password compromised, a hacker can freely go through your emails, piece your personal information together, and then wreak all sorts of havoc.

An easy solution to this problem is to use strong lengthy cryptic passwords. Use a lot of uppercase and lowercase letters along with numbers and special symbols to make your password uncrackable. A password like this: !.v[L2,m=nVhpPJ<:Ub<gQ5A, would be impossible to compromise.

Tip #3 – Don’t Share Your Email When You Don’t Have to

This seems pretty self-explanatory, however, you’re often going to find people linking their email addresses in their social media bios. We’re all guilty of it. Another mistake that we all make is that we tend to provide our real email address when signing up for services that don’t really require email confirmations.

By limiting where we share our email address, we can prevent hackers who are constantly on the lookout for new victims from compromising our email account’s privacy.

 Tip #4 – Enable Two-Factor authentication

In addition to using an insanely strong password, it’s often a good idea to use two-factor authentication (2FA). Two-factor authentication ensures that if your password gets compromised, an attacker will still be required to bypass the second layer of security.

Depending on which version of two-factor authentication your email client offers, an attacker will be required to either enter an email address on a secondary device, enter a pin received via SMS or answer a secret question for reinforced privacy.

Tip #5 – Never Email Personally-Identifying Information

Since emails are relatively easier to hack and compromise, you should never share any personally identifiable information such as social security numbers, phone numbers, date of birth, and other sensitive data. This will ensure that you’re not providing any information that can come back to haunt you in the future.

Tip #6 – Use a Secure and Authentic Email Client

If you want to be completely sure that no will be able to read the contents of your emails, you’ll have to ditch mainstream email clients like Gmail for something that’s not generic and actually offers any privacy.

You can go for something like ProtonMail, who have their servers buried 1,000 meters underground in a Swiss bunker. Other noteworthy email clients include Posteo, Mailfence, and mailbox.org.

Tip #7 – Sign Out of Your Mailbox as Often as You Can

This might seem like a cumbersome process, but it can actually enhance the privacy of your email account. Signing out whenever you’re not using your email account can prevent remote hijackers from examining the contents of your mailbox.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you log out of your account every time you’re done emailing someone. Instead, sign out of your email account at the end of your work shift or before going to bed. Especially if you’re using someone else’s computer.

Tip #8 – Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi

No matter how tempting a free Wi-Fi connection might seem, you should never use one for any sensitive task. Hackers are infamous for setting up malicious hotspots to intercept people’s personal information.

So, if you log into your email account via a malicious Wi-Fi connection, a hacker can potentially take over your email account and steal your sensitive information. This is why you should always use only trusted networks or use a Proxy if connecting to public Wi-Fi is the last option available to you.

Tip #9 – Use a Recovery Email Address

The last and final tip I have for you is to always set up a recovery email address in case something goes wrong. This way, if someone manages to take over your account and exploits you, then you can simply change your password via the recovery backup email address and regain control of your email account.

Wrapping up!

So this wraps it up. I hope you now have an idea of why you should start taking the privacy of your email accounts seriously. If you religiously start following the 9 tips I shared with you in this blog post, you can greatly enhance the privacy of your email account.

After all, it all comes down to you. You’re the only one who can put in the effort to and safeguard the privacy of your email account. If you found this blog post informative, do consider sharing it with your friends and family.

Read more about how to protect your email privacy by preventing identity theft through phishing emails.  You can also make the internet more safe by reporting phishing.

Even though WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat among others are the go-to social media platforms for instant communications, we still heavily rely on emails even in 2020. So why does there seem to be little focus on ways to protect our email privacy?

Afterall, we use emails to share our financial information with our accountants, manage online money transfer services like PayPal, and even use it to create all of our social media accounts. In a sense, our personal lives are linked to our email addresses.

Despite being such a major part of our life and the fact that 320 billion people are expected to be using it by 2021, email remains as one of the least secure means of communication. Believe it or not, email technology is still based on protocols that can’t cope up with modern online security threats.

Getting your email hacked might not seem like a big deal for kids, but for adults, it can be an absolute nightmare.

Keeping this in mind, in today’s informative blog post, I’m going to talk about why email privacy is so important, share with you some real-world email hacking case studies, and also tell you 9 proven tips to enhance your email privacy.

Why Email Privacy Matters?

Think about it for a second, everything you do online is connected to your email address. Whether it be online banking or something as simple as signing up for any online service, you’ll have to provide an email address to get started. Once you get registered, you usually get your account details such as username and password emailed back to you.

If a hacker gains access to your emails, all hell can break loose. According to VPNRanks, about 92% of malware is delivered through emails. That’s an alarming figure.

If a hacker gains access to your account, they can obtain sensitive information such as account credentials, personal information, and even steal your identity.

Now you must be thinking, how on earth can someone read my emails when no one knows my password?

Well, unlike the messages we send over WhatApp and other end-to-end encrypted messaging services, emails go through numerous servers before reaching their destination.

Whenever an email passes through an intermediary server, multiple copies of it are stored. While one server might be difficult to hack, others might not be. That’s how your emails get compromised.

Think I’m making this up?

Well, you can enter your email address on haveibeenpwned.com and check whether anyone has compromised your privacy.

Anyways, if you still have doubts, let’s check out some real-world use cases where people have actually lost a ton of money simply because their email addresses got hacked.

Real-World Email Hacking Cases

I’m going to share with you two actual cases that resulted in the loss of thousands of dollars simply because some hackers managed to gain access to the email accounts of unsuspected victims.

Case #1 – $47,500 Stolen From a Pensioner

A pensioner in Brisbane Australia bore a loss of $47,500 when he became a victim of an identity theft case. A hacker managed to hack into the victim’s account and send a series of convincing emails to the advisor managing his pension funds.

The hacker requested to deposit $90,000 to an overseas bank account as his daughter desperately needed money. The advisor got convinced and sent over a Pension Payment Request form telling the hacker that only $47,500 can be withdrawn.

The hacker filled in the form with all the details stolen from the client’s email account and told the adviser not to call him as he’s attending a funeral.

The advisor respected the client’s request thinking it was genuine and processed the withdrawal request right away. Till the real client could manage to explain that his email account got hacked a few days ago, the funds were already transferred to an offshore account.

Case #2 – Barely Dodged an Email Fraud of $260,000

Another financial adviser based in Australia was also targeted by a hacker, however, she managed to dodge a fraud of $260,000.

A hacker emailed her from her client’s email address that got hacked, requesting her to change the email address to a new one. The new email address only had one letter missing — “g”.

The hacker then sent an email from the new email account telling the advisor to deposit $260,000 in an offshore account because they wanted to buy some property. The email seemed totally legit, however, since the amount was quite substantial, the advisor wanted to talk to the client personally for authenticity reasons.

However, the real client was unreachable over the phone, and the transaction got delayed. In desperation, the hacker contacted the adviser via a phony contact number that was associated with the new bogus email address.

However, upon getting in contact, the adviser quickly figured out that the person on the phone was not the real customer judging from the accent, and refused to process the request.

9 Tips to Enhance Your Email Privacy

So by now, you must have an idea of how a hacker can take over your life if your email address gets compromised. But it’s not the end of the world. Now, we’re going to look at 9 proven easy tips to enhance the privacy of your email accounts.

Tip #1 – Use More Than One Email Address

You should never rely on just a single email account for work and personal use. Always use two different email accounts to segregate your work mailbox from your personal mailbox. This will ensure that you’re not putting all your eggs in the same basket.

If you want to take this strategy to another level, you can create different disposable email addresses when signing up for any service online. This way, you’ll never risk your personal information.

Tip #2 – Use Strong Passwords

Probably the most basic reason why most people lose their email accounts is that they use weak passwords. Passwords like your name followed by a sequence of numbers (John12345678) are really easy to crack.

With your password compromised, a hacker can freely go through your emails, piece your personal information together, and then wreak all sorts of havoc.

An easy solution to this problem is to use strong lengthy cryptic passwords. Use a lot of uppercase and lowercase letters along with numbers and special symbols to make your password uncrackable. A password like this: !.v[L2,m=nVhpPJ<:Ub<gQ5A, would be impossible to compromise.

Tip #3 – Don’t Share Your Email When You Don’t Have to

This seems pretty self-explanatory, however, you’re often going to find people linking their email addresses in their social media bios. We’re all guilty of it. Another mistake that we all make is that we tend to provide our real email address when signing up for services that don’t really require email confirmations.

By limiting where we share our email address, we can prevent hackers who are constantly on the lookout for new victims from compromising our email account’s privacy.

 Tip #4 – Enable Two-Factor authentication

In addition to using an insanely strong password, it’s often a good idea to use two-factor authentication (2FA). Two-factor authentication ensures that if your password gets compromised, an attacker will still be required to bypass the second layer of security.

Depending on which version of two-factor authentication your email client offers, an attacker will be required to either enter an email address on a secondary device, enter a pin received via SMS or answer a secret question for reinforced privacy.

Tip #5 – Never Email Personally-Identifying Information

Since emails are relatively easier to hack and compromise, you should never share any personally identifiable information such as social security numbers, phone numbers, date of birth, and other sensitive data. This will ensure that you’re not providing any information that can come back to haunt you in the future.

Tip #6 – Use a Secure and Authentic Email Client

If you want to be completely sure that no will be able to read the contents of your emails, you’ll have to ditch mainstream email clients like Gmail for something that’s not generic and actually offers any privacy.

You can go for something like ProtonMail, who have their servers buried 1,000 meters underground in a Swiss bunker. Other noteworthy email clients include Posteo, Mailfence, and mailbox.org.

Tip #7 – Sign Out of Your Mailbox as Often as You Can

This might seem like a cumbersome process, but it can actually enhance the privacy of your email account. Signing out whenever you’re not using your email account can prevent remote hijackers from examining the contents of your mailbox.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you log out of your account every time you’re done emailing someone. Instead, sign out of your email account at the end of your work shift or before going to bed. Especially if you’re using someone else’s computer.

Tip #8 – Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi

No matter how tempting a free Wi-Fi connection might seem, you should never use one for any sensitive task. Hackers are infamous for setting up malicious hotspots to intercept people’s personal information.

So, if you log into your email account via a malicious Wi-Fi connection, a hacker can potentially take over your email account and steal your sensitive information. This is why you should always use only trusted networks or use a Proxy if connecting to public Wi-Fi is the last option available to you.

Tip #9 – Use a Recovery Email Address

The last and final tip I have for you is to always set up a recovery email address in case something goes wrong. This way, if someone manages to take over your account and exploits you, then you can simply change your password via the recovery backup email address and regain control of your email account.

Wrapping up!

So this wraps it up. I hope you now have an idea of why you should start taking the privacy of your email accounts seriously. If you religiously start following the 9 tips I shared with you in this blog post, you can greatly enhance the privacy of your email account.

After all, it all comes down to you. You’re the only one who can put in the effort to and safeguard the privacy of your email account. If you found this blog post informative, do consider sharing it with your friends and family.

Read more about how to protect your email privacy by preventing identity theft through phishing emails.  You can also make the internet more safe by reporting phishing.

Holiday Discount on McAfee ends soon! Stay protected while you shop, surf, and stream on multiple devices in your home.