Proverbs 23:3 (ESV) – “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”
Dear Violet, Mia, Noelle, Charlie, Henry and George,
Did your mom or dad ever say, “Don’t touch that, it is hot!”? “Look both ways before you cross the street!” Perhaps they told you: “Don’t run with a sharp stick in your hand.” My mom did. She did that because she loved me. When there was a tornado warning we would go to the basement because it was prudent. Prudent means sensible and giving thought to the future. It is wise. Foolish and careless people touch hot things, cross the street with their eyes closed (unless they are blind) and run around with sharp objects.
The world is full of danger, but it is possible to be careful and thoughtful to keep out of some types of trouble. Although you probably don’t use the Internet for a bank account yet, you probably already have a password for your email or for other things you do with an iPad or an iPod or some other ‘i’ device or computer. The reason for that is that it is prudent to keep your account safe.
Because I worked with computers for most of my working life, I know how sneaky thieves and scoundrels can be. They want to steal from someone or create a big mess that makes your life miserable. There are, however, things you can do to “hide yourself.” The link takes you to a good article about this, but here are the main points in summary:
- Change your password. It is the main key to the door to your account. Don’t make it a key that is easy for someone to guess. For example, Violet should not use “Violet” for a password. Mia should not use “Noelle” for a password. Those are too easy to guess. Here is an example of one type of password I have used in the past: ItBgCtHaTeGen11. This can be interpreted as “In The Beginning god Created the Heaven and The earth Genesis 1:1.” Do you see how I did this? (Hint: look at the underlined letters and numbers if you are stumped.)
- Have more than one key. If a web site lets you have two or more ways to protect your bank account, use them. This is like using the lock and the deadbolt on your front and rear doors.
- Don’t click on links in emails. If you have an account with a bank, and you get an email that looks like it is from your bank, don’t click on the link in the email. Go directly to the bank’s web site using the link you normally use on your iPad or computer.
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi. This means you should not use Wi-Fi in a restaurant or hotel or some other public place to look at your important online accounts. It is not safe. You can use Wi-Fi at home or at a relative’s home to go to your bank account, but don’t use a public Wi-Fi for that.
- Keep your computer software up-to-date. This means you probably need help from your mom or dad. If some crook figures out how to break the lock, then you need a better lock on the door.
If you read this and then email me a password that you think would be a good one, I will give you a reward for your work. You have to send me the password and the way you will be able to remember it. Use the example that I gave you above. This, of course, only applies to my six grandchildren!
Here is a good article that can help you stay safe on the Internet: