Summer vacation is over and your kids are already started with the new school year. Here is the thing: apart from telling them “not to talk to strangers”, you should probably teach them some basic Cybersecurity Tips on how to stay safe online with those new laptops, tablets, smartphones, iPods, and gaming devices you bought for them during the summer vacation.
Cyber Threats and Cybersecurity Tips
An average parent thinks that only business owners need to concern themselves with cybersecurity issues. Unfortunately, we live in a dangerous world. Hackers know that children are easy targets because they lack awareness of tell-tale warning signs when using the internet.
According to a new report released by the University of Maryland, there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds. Since 2013, there have been over 3,809,448 records stolen from breaches every day. The rate of cyber-attack is growing rapidly all over the world.
The only way you can keep hackers off is by taking some precautionary measures. However, that is not enough. Your kids also need to learn about cyber threats and data protection. Handing them a new laptop or a new phone is not enough.
You need to teach them and ensure they stay safe when using their new digital devices. In this article, you will learn various ways to keep your kids safe from cyber threats. Keep on reading to find out more.
Top Cybersecurity Tips For Parents and Kids
1. Talk with them about Cybersecurity
Handing your child a new digital device comes with extra responsibility for both of you. Make sure that your kid understands that he cannot use his new device unless he proves to you that he can always take steps to protect himself online.
Fortunately, you can see tons of YouTube videos that show you how you can make cybersecurity fun for kids. It can be as simple as asking your kid to take a simple quiz on cybersecurity before you buy a new digital device for him.
2. Use Social Media Responsibly
Social media is becoming a very important part of most young people’s life. Unfortunately, it is a parenting nightmare. Hackers are not the only ones targeting social media, even potential employers and admission officers now look at social media profiles to determine if a candidate has the quality they need. You should teach your kid how to use social media responsibly.
Research by Pew Research showed that YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are the most popular social media platforms for kids under the age of 13 to 17. These platforms are also used to target young people.
Your kid can easily fall for a trick where a hacker asks for bank account details for a cash reward. Hackers also steal personal information like email addresses. Teach your kid to use a different email address when creating a social media account and various ways to recognize phishing attempts on social media.
3. Beware of Phishing
Nowadays, cybercriminals make use of fraudulent emails, social media posts, and text messages to lure unsuspecting users into clicking malicious links or revealing sensitive information.
Hackers distribute ransomware through social media and emails. Phishing is a threat to not just top businesses but kids as well. Cybercriminals can employ different strategies such as irresistible offers or scare tactics to deceive your ward into revealing sensitive information.
Teach your kid to avoid replying messages from someone they don’t know on social media or clicking on links they don’t trust. Irrespective of how old your kid is, it is never too early or too late to teach them about how phishing works and ways to avoid becoming a victim.
4. Review your School’s Information Policy
5. Keep your Devices Updated
Hackers regularly use loopholes in outdated software or app to hack or gain access to private information. Ensure that your kid learns how to keep his digital devices updated.
6. Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is a hotbed for hackers. Nowadays, hackers even set up free Wi-Fi for public use. They can also easily hack into public Wi-Fi and gain access to users of the Wi-Fi. A good way to stay safe is to avoid using Wi-Fi especially those in the parks and bus stations. If you must use public Wi-Fi, it is important you consider using a VPN.
7. Invest in a Strong VPN/Anti-Virus
Using a VPN when browsing is highly recommended. VPN means “virtual private network”. A strong VPN will significantly increase your chances of getting hacked especially when you are using public Wi-Fi. Additionally, a strong Anti-Virus is just as important as a VPN. Invest in a VPN and Anti-Virus for your kids before you send them back to school.
8. Use Strong Passwords / 2-Factor Authentication
Using a strong password can serve as the first layer of security. Teach your children how to create a strong password. The password must be changed regularly.
It is also very important that you don’t use the same password you used on social media for other important accounts, for example, your bank account. Nowadays, many apps offer 2-factor authentication. Using 2-factor authentication is another great way to add an extra layer of security.
Cyber threats are real and constantly on the rise. Nowadays, cybercriminals can attack everyone. Don’t assume that your child has no valuable information. Cybercriminals can get to you simply by hacking your kid’s information. Always stay up to date with your kid’s online safety. It is never too early or too late to start building a solid cybersecurity foundation for your children.
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