Wednesday 2 September 2020

Cyber safety with Norton 360

Norton is a well-known name when it comes to cybersecurity. We have been a paid subscriber of Norton for the past 6 years. Confident to say, we acquired a bountiful experience on how it has been armouring the safety of our digital devices: Laptops, Smartphones and Tablets. As well as monitoring the safety of our kids' online activities.

Working, shopping, learning and banking from home have increased rapidly along the years, and even more so in the recent months. These online activities are not without the threats of malware, spyware, phishing threats, digital surveillance and identity theft. In layman comparative terms, bad worms that can corrupt the proper functions of your devices, and invisible burglars that can steal your personal information. Like crime prevention, we have to exercise due diligence. 


Online activities get breezier


Norton 360 is a comprehensive plan that can protect our personal information with all-in-one protection, including a Secure VPN with bank grade encryption, device security including anti-virus, SafeCam for PC and more. It provides multiple layers of protection for our devices and online privacy for the whole family.  


Norton 360 all-in-one protection protection for your devices.

Norton 360

1. Real-time Threat Protection: Advanced security with antivirus helps protect against existing and emerging online threats to your devices, and helps protect your private and financial information when you go online. 
2. Secure VPN: Browse anonymously and more securely with a no-log Virtual Private Network (VPN). Add bank-grade encryption to help keep your information like passwords and bank account details secure and private.

3. Parental Control: Manage your kids’ activities online. Help them explore, learn, and enjoy their connected world more safely on their PCs or smartphones. This feature is however not supported on Mac. 

4. Password Manager: Tools to easily generate, store, and manage your passwords, credit card information and other credentials online more securely. This features requires your device to have an Internet/data plan and be turned on. It is only available on windows.
5. Up to 100GB Cloud Backup: Automatic, secure cloud backup for PCs – to store and protect important files and documents against hard drive failures, stolen devices and even ransomware. This feature is only available on windows.

6. SafeCam for PC: Alerts you to attempts to access your webcam and helps you block unauthorized access to it. This feature is only available on windows.

Norton 360 comes in 3 different plans - Standard, Deluxe and Premium. Parental Control feature is only available in Deluxe and Premium plans. We are on the premium plan, which includes protection up to 10 devices. It's a single solution for all.

Parenting in The Digital Age 

Avoiding online activities in this digital age is highly impossible, especially as the kids grow older. School was confined to home during the days of circuit breaker, and that was when we had a taste of the sudden intensiveness of Home-Based Learning. Online learning is deemed necessary in time to come. As much as possible, the kids need to be independent and responsible with their online activities without parents' intervention.

I've written previously on 10 reasons why we allow screen time, and even then in point number 4, I shared that we use Norton to keep them safe. 

Staying safe in the digital age

More than just antivirus protection and internet security in today's connected world, we are also raising a set of new breed kids where digital and online intervention are more prominent and paramount than decades ago. The Internet is a big universe that needs us, parents to help our kids manage cyber safety, media literacy and self-regulation before they are mature enough to be given total liberty.

It's not just about knowing what the kids are doing online, but minimising the risk of being exposed to inappropriate online content. Last year, at 10 years old, Jazz was given a phone. The Norton 360 Premium's Parental Control feature made the trust and letting go easier. Which of course, we laid it across her that we are monitoring her online activities for the good sake of her. 

Norton Family Parental Control 
Here are some features that can help you manage protection for your kids' devices with Norton: 

1. Supervision of Web access: Within this supervision function, we are able to monitor, warn or block websites. We can customise the websites to be blocked/allowed and it ranges from topics such alcohol, drugs, mature content etc. There is a total of 37 categories for restrict. We can even specify the exact website we want to restrict/allow. There may be certain websites that are harmless, but required for your child's eLearning. For example, file sharing websites can be restricted, but customised to allow access to certain  file sharing website for homework submissions. The main gist is that it is fully customisable. 

2. Screen time limits: Monitor how much time your child is spending online. We use this function on their laptops. It allows us to set the amount of time the kids can spend on their devices, as well as block out the hours that cannot be used. The laptop will shut down once time limit is up. Any extension will have to be requested by your child, and you will be notified on your smartphone for approval. When there's no Home-Based Learning for that week, our kids do not touch their laptop. No activities will be reported.



3. Access Request: Open the lines of communication by enabling your child to send you a note from within Norton Family if they disagree with a blocked site or a house rule. Youtube is blocked on Jare's laptop, but set as 'warn' on Jazz's laptop. Different levels of self-discipline explain this. But if their eLearning requested them to view some external video links, Jare is able to type a reason for access, and viewing will be granted. 

4. Monitor search items: This helps our child explore the Web more safely by keeping you informed of which sites they are visiting, as well as blocking harmful or inappropriate sites. We will be notified immediately if the kids are searching for inappropriate content based on certain keywords. 


5. Overall activity history: Weekly, we receive a detailed online activity report of their accessed websites for the week. Detailed enough to inform us on the exact websites visited and videos watched. I find this a good way to check if their words match our report when asked about their online activities.

6. Restriction levels: Freedom comes with responsibility, and sometimes age. There are 4 different restriction levels recommended for different ages - Very high, high, moderate and low. If your child is below 8, the recommended restriction level is, very high. If you child is between 15 to 17 years old, the recommended level is, low. This is a useful reminder that we need to gradually let go, and grant our sprouting kids the responsibility of self-regulation.   

7. Instant Lock:  Parents can help kids take a break by locking the device, so they can re-focus priorities. Individual devices can be unlocked with a PIN. Parents and children can still contact each other while the device is in lock mode.

8. Mobile App supervision: See which mobile apps your kids have downloaded on their Android devices and choose which ones they can use. You may also impose curfew, which disables the apps after a certain time. iOS has got its inbuilt function for this purpose.

Norton Family Parental Control is good at keeping your kids from browsing undesirable content on their iOS, but has more functions on an Android. iOS has got its own screen and apps parental control functions built within.

And why are we doing these? Keeping the kids safe online shouldn’t be the end of their freedom, it is the start of open and ongoing conversations about how to build safe and smart online habits. Upon that, these parental control features are also great tools in helping the kids manage an appropriate amount of digital screen time with no struggles.

In my opinion, Internet security, antivirus and parental control software are essential investments. Screen time is addictive. It can mesmerize an adult into spending hours glued to a device while they are mentally detached from their physical surroundings. When compared to an adult, a child has far less chance to break free from this addiction. 

Norton 360 is a powerful all-in-one cybersecurity package. Being named 360, it really has got all aspects well thought of and safely protected.

100% Virus Protection Promise 

The moment you subscribe, a Norton expert is available to help keep your device virus-free or give you a refund (60 Days Money-Back Guarantee). Norton experts are on-call to help remove viruses that might slip in. That's the confidence they give in their antivirus and malware protection. If your device gets a virus their experts can’t remove, you get your money back.

Sweet Deal

A well covered cyber safety protection is an imperative investment. Get one that matches your digital appetite. From $49 per year (Standard plan) to $139 per year (Premium plan). Secure your evergreen deal today!



Disclaimer: Paid collaboration

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