Cyber-security: How to keep your children safe!

The Internet is a great resource for you and your family. At the touch of a button, you have access to a world of knowledge and entertainment. Sadly, the internet is also a dangerous place to hang out – particularly for children. Nearly 60% of teens have received an email or instant message from a stranger – half of them have replied. With summer approaching, the potential for children to wind up on dangerous sites increases since kids have more free time and that usually means more screen time.

So what can you do? Just to get started, let’s list some things you can do almost immediately to help keep your kids safe while they’re online.

It won’t take a lot of time to try these suggestions, and while we’ll talk later on about setting up parental controls through your Race router, the following steps can give you some peace of mind until you can do so.

    1. Place computers in a common area of the house:
      Don’t allow kids to have a computer in their room. You’d be surprised by how much the mere presence of a parent who may or may not be looking over a child’s shoulder while they use the computer can keep a child in line. They have no way of knowing if your eyes are good enough to see across the room, now do they? Make sure the computer’s screen is visible from other parts of the room and isn’t turned toward a wall.
    2. Set reasonable time and usage limits:
      Set rules about what your child can and can’t do when on the internet. Set time limits on their computer use. If they say they’re researching homework, maybe you don’t include that in the time limits – but make sure they’re using it for homework.
    3. Discuss the dangers of the web with your child:
      Sit down and discuss the dangers of the internet. Talk openly and honestly about what’s out there and the kind of stuff they want to avoid. Forewarned is forearmed.
    4. Teach them to protect their privacy
      While they won’t fully understand the consequences of revealing personal information online, you should still make sure your children know:
      * Never to give their name, phone number, e-mail address, password, postal address, school, or picture without your permission
      * Not to open e-mail from people they don’t know
      * Not to respond to hurtful or disturbing messages
      * Not to get together with anyone they “meet” online.
    5. Keep the youngsters out of online chat rooms, and do your best to reinforce the old rule, “never talk to strangers.”:
      Chat rooms are a popular place for sex offenders to meet their prey. If possible, keep your kids out of chat rooms altogether. Make sure your child knows that no matter how nice an online “friend” may seem to be, they are still a stranger, and may not be who they appear to be. ​
    6. Know Passwords:
      Be upfront with your children that you will need to have their passwords for all of their devices and for all of their social media sites. Once you have the passwords, check these sites regularly to see what your child is seeing and posting.
    7. NEVER let your child upload or download photos without your permission:
      Online predators will often send photos supposedly of themselves or request photos of the child.

Turn your ISP into your ally
Before buying any safety product, experts recommend that you work with what you’ve got, starting with your Internet service provider – hopefully that is us at Race Communications!

Your Gigafy Me router includes free parental controls that can limit children’s access to websites and communication features (e-mail, instant messaging, chat) by the time of day and other variables. If you don’t have a router rental through Race, give us a call to have that added or if you have any questions about these features.

Race Communications to update television features powered by Minerva 10.

Thank you for choosing Race as your preferred television provider. Our mission is to ensure that our customers have the newest technology and ensure that the technology is working the way it is supposed to. In the coming weeks, Race will be updating our television software.

Powered by the Minerva 10 platform, combined with other best-of-breed content recommendations, content security, and video processing systems, the new managed service offers us at Race unmatched flexibility vis-à-vis their video services deployment strategy.

What does this mean for you as our customer? Over the coming weeks, you may see changes to your TV layout – we hope the new layout will offer a better customer experience. Your channels and channel numbers will remain the same.

Race is delighted to be able to offer the most efficient and cost-effective solution to transition to next-generation video.  The new managed service supports advanced features including start-over, catch-up TV, and cloud DVR, and delivers a premium viewing experience, consistent across your set-top boxes.

As part of your new premium viewing experience, you will find that your guide is more interactive suggesting similar titles, shows and movies like the ones you watch. In addition, you will find that your DVR is more user-friendly using updated features – not to mention, you will be able to keep all your current recordings! If you have our TV services, you will be notified with a date for your software update in the coming weeks.

About Race Communications
Race Communications is dedicated to providing reliable, high-speed internet and advanced communications at an affordable price. Working in partnership with the California Public Utilities Commission and a number of non-profit community advocacy groups, Race focuses much of its efforts toward building out fiber networks and offering gigabit internet service to communities throughout California.

About Minerva Networks
Minerva is a leading provider of service management solutions for the delivery of advanced pay television services. Over 300 operators worldwide have deployed Minerva’s software platform to offer next-generation entertainment services to their subscribers. For more information, please visit http://www.minervanetworks.com