The ability to download music and films on demand and share information is a great benefit of the internet, but keep the following information in mind. Check the sites that your children are using as the film and music industries monitor the internet for people downloading illegally and you’ll be held responsible for any illegal downloads your children make. By downloading material from illegal sites, children risk downloading viruses or spyware at the same time. They can also be downloaded from emails, pop-ups or sharing files as well as USB drives and connected devices. Bloatware, trojans, malware and worms can also be downloaded. These can do anything from taking control of your computer to slowing your device down. Phishing and pharming are ways of getting hold of private information, either by sending emails pretending to be a genuine organisation such as a bank or building society or sending you to copies of genuine websites. File-sharing websites usually need special software. If your children are using one to download illegal material , you may find a related icon on the desktop. Talk to your children about how to download safely and legally, and help them understand why it’s important to keep the computer free from viruses. Make it clear that it’s illegal to download most films and songs without paying for them. Research any download site your child is using and check it’s legal and trustworthy. Point your children to secure sites where they can buy music and films, such as iTunes or Amazon. You can limit the amount they spend by getting them gift cards for a particular sum. Look into services such as Spotify or Netflix which allows unlimited streaming.
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