We know what you’re thinking, I didn’t know the first thing about internet security as a kid, so why should my kids have to try to learn the concepts that will clearly be over their heads? How does cybersecurity apply to them?
While it may seem a little paranoid to teach your kids about cybersecurity and safe computer practices, the advancements that have happened over the last few years have changed the landscape drastically for what we teach the next generation, when we teach them and why we teach it to them. No matter your age, everyone should be well-versed in cybersecurity jargon and digitally literate in general. What was once considered unnecessary will be absolutely crucial today and in the future to keeping your kids and your family cybersafe.
By using their smartwatches, tablets and toys, kids have more access than ever before. That access point can leave your family and privacy vulnerable if your young ones don’t know the basic ways to stay safe. Here are some easy ways to begin this conversation with your kids about staying safe online.
“Don’t talk to strangers”
You have likely already told your kids about stranger danger, because kids are far more trusting than adults just in their nature. Make sure that they know that this extends to the internet as well, if they are in chat rooms, their email inboxes (if they have them) or on social media.
“When in doubt – ask me”
It’s true, kids are already making an impact in the world of cybersecurity! However, make sure they know that the internet is full of vulnerabilities that may be unknown to them. Explain that should they ever feel doubt about something they encounter online, to come to you for the proper course of action.
“Don’t share any of our personal info”
Most likely, you’ve already taught your kids to keep personal information about you or your family (like your address, phone number, etc.) private. However, in today’s day and age, instruct your little ones to keep things like usernames, passwords and pin numbers a secret, too. Small details like these can help attackers gain access to your personal data.
“Make your passwords a secret code that only you can break”
How many times have YOU used “password” as your password – and you’re an adult! Teach your kids to think of passwords that will be difficult to guess and remind them to keep them a secret. They will enjoy presenting a challenge like this for others.
As adults, we know that being safe online is of the utmost importance and teaching kids at a young age can make the biggest difference in making sure they know that, too. As soon as they have any level of interaction with the internet, they should know the risks it can pose and the vulnerabilities it can create for you and your family. Most importantly: what they can do to prevent it all. Now that you’ve helped them get started on their cybersecurity education journey, browse the Secure360 blog for other helpful, easy-to-read articles like this one!