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How to keep your children safe online

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As a parent in Kenya today, we generally do everything we can to keep our children safe and well. From getting them to “slip, slop, slap”  shape before going out in the sun to being careful when crossing the road.
With 89% of its population online, Kenya has one of the highest levels of internet penetration in the world. Use of internet has increased in the recent years and as a result increasing number of children who now have unsupervised access to the internet. While children can derive great benefit from internet access, it also renders them vulnerable to risk such as:

  • Exposure to fraudulent/illegal practices.
  • Exposure to unsuitable content and potential harassment from third parties.
  • Addictive and compulsive content such as gambling and gaming which may as a result incite young people to aggressiveness and violence.

Thus the need to introduce some ways to protect them from all this. It’s time to introduce some cyber safety know-how to your parental toolkit and here is a few ways how:

1. Talk openly to your child about their online activity.

As soon as your child starts accessing the internet, talk to them about what they are reading, watching and who they are communicating with online. Ensure to keep the conversation going as they grow older.

2. Keep screens and devices where you can see them.

Always monitor your child’s time online, particularly younger children. Keep the computer in a central spot in the home.  An area where it’s easy to keep an eye on what your child is doing and viewing online.

3. Know your parental controls.

Innocent searches online can lead to not-so-innocent results, therefore it’s wise to know how to use the parental controls/search restrictions offered by web browsers and internet service provider. https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/.

4. Know who your children’s online friends are.

As adults, we know that some people online aren’t who they say they are but children and young people can be alarming naïve about who they are chatting. Because of this, we need to teach them to be cyber wise from an early age.

5. Teach your children to protect their privacy and most of all keep their location private.

Most apps, networks and devices have geo-tagging features. These features make your whereabouts public and can lead someone directly to you. These features therefore should be turned off for obvious privacy and safety reasons. https://www.esafety.gov.au/ .

6. Be #SocialNetwork

Talk to your children about how they can stay safe on social networks. Encourage them to talk to a trusted person when they are worried and ensure they are aware of what constitutes online bullying, both as a perpetrator and a victim.

Ultimately, you don’t want to instil fear in your child and prevent them from experiencing the many educational, entertainment and social benefits of the internet but rather give them the skills and knowledge they need to know how to make the most of it and avoid the dangers.

If your child uses social networks, be sure they know how to:

  • Report inappropriate and/or offensive posts.
  • Block someone.
  • Keep information private.

5 Ways To Speed Up Your Internet Connection

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You’ve decided to take the fastest plan offered by your internet service provider. The latest episode of your favorite show has just dropped on Netflix and the smell of popcorn is still fresh in the air. Yet, you sit there watching the dreaded buffering spinner…We have all been here and can probably relate to how frustrating this can be. Assuming your internet provider is providing you what they promised, we have compiled the below tips and tricks that you can try to get your link to its maximum potential!

1. Change Your DNS Provider

DNS or domain name system is the internet’s phone book, our devices use DNS servers to translate human-readable address to computer-readable IP addresses. Which DNS server you use will impact both your speeds and even your browsing security. Internet service providers in Kenya sometimes configure their own DNS servers to collect information on service usage, luckily we can change this.

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We recommend using Googles DNS servers (Primary: 8.8.8.8, Secondary: 8.8.4.4), given the reliability and scale of Google we have found their servers providing the fastest response and reliability in Kenya, please follow this tutorial to configure your device specific DNS.

To learn more about DNS watch this video

2. Restart You Router

If you have ever worked in tech support you know the magic of restarting the device can perform. The way the router works can sometimes lead to caches filling up or errors affecting the performance of your wireless home network. A reboot can be surprisingly effective. We recommend restarting your equipment at least once a week.

 

 

 

 

3. Move Closer to Your Router

Distance to your Wifi router can significantly impact the speeds and performance of your devices internet connection. The signal radiated by the routers is affected differently by different materials. So there is no hard and fast rule on the distance I can give you but use the number of bars on your devices wifi icon as a guide. Less than full bars means the connection’s max limit has been reduced significantly, for most uses other than HD video conferencing or online gaming, 3 of 4 bars is sufficient.

4. Clear Your Browser Cache

To try to speed up your browsing experience browsers keep a temporary copy of downloaded images and resources from websites your visit, it will use these from “cache” instead of redownloading the content when you revisit the website. Made to help speed up your experience, sometimes these caches can become so big that they do the exact opposite and need to be manually cleared. The process to do this varies from browser to browser, below is applicable to the chrome browser:

  • Click the three dots menu at the top right corner of Chrome
  • Select “settings” from the drop-down menu
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “advanced”
  • Click “clear browsing data”
  • A pop-up window will open with four options that are safe to clear: “browsing history,” “download history,” “cookies and other site data” and “cached images and files.” All are selected by default.
  • Click “Clear Data”
5. Use Ethernet

Wifi is a great convenience but due to obstacles or background noise (other wifi devices talking), it is a lot less efficient than ethernet. If your internet connection is fast yet your smart tv seems to buffer or you are having a large amount of lag while gaming, we recommend trying to connect the device to the router directly over ethernet.