Kids these days.
They’re growing up with smart devices and high speed access in a world that we couldn’t have even imagined years ago. Educating them on the dangers of the internet and teaching them why security is so important needs to begin before they even connect. As a parent or guardian, this responsibility falls on you! Here are 10 quick things to help you raise a security aware kid and keep them safe online.
GIVE THEM REASONS
Talk to your kids about the importance of online safety and security awareness. If they understand the why behind your concern, they will be more inclined to follow the what behind your rules.
PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
Lead by example. Create a home security policy that everyone in the family follows. Use this Human Firewall Pledge as a starting point:
INSTALL AND INFORM
Install parental controls or child-monitoring software, especially if you have younger kids. Explain to your kids why this software is necessary. Knowledge is power.
BACK IT UP
Backups should be set to run automatically every day. Copy all of your important family data to a separate hard drive and consider looking into offsite backups like the cloud. You don’t want to lose any of those family photos, financial documents, medical files and school reports!
Each person should have their own user account on shared home devices. Only use the admin account when absolutely necessary. This will give you more control over security settings based on the maturity level of your children.
Know what your kids are doing online, where they are “hanging out,” and with whom they communicate. This is a difficult task considering the number of apps released everyday and the sheer volume of social media sites. So it’s important stay informed yourself and stay on top of all the “latest and greatest”.
PASSWORDS ARE PRIVATE
Stress to your kids the importance of never sharing their passwords, not even with a best friend. If they have already shared their passwords, make sure they change them immediately. Teach them how to create strong passwords and why it’s so important. If you’re not sure what a strong password is, use this handy flowchart!
Notice your child’s behavior on and off the internet. Not only do you need to prevent them from participating in cyberbullying, you should also notice if they are the target and take appropriate action to report it.
Most of this stuff is nontechnical security. It’s centered around common sense and education. If we treat online safety the same way we treat playground safety and teach our children how to behave on the internet, we will raise a generation of cyber savvy digital citizens who will expect security to be a part of their daily lives..
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