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5 Cybersecurity Tips For Parents

Today, cybersecurity is more relevant than ever. Especially for those of us who are parents. The digital world is huge,…

5 Cybersecurity Tips For Parents

23rd October 2023

Today, cybersecurity is more relevant than ever. Especially for those of us who are parents.

The digital world is huge, right? It’s like a giant playground filled with endless fun slides and swings. We want our little ones to enjoy this playground. They can learn so much from it, discover new things, and get brilliant ideas.

But hey, every playground has some rusty equipment. A broken swing or a cracked slide. We wouldn’t want our kids to get hurt, would we?

Here are five simple tips to ensure your child’s safety online.

1) Keep a clean machine

Ever gotten a message saying, “Update available?” Clicking ‘later’ might be tempting, but did you know that keeping your devices updated is like giving them a health check-up?

Regular updates to your operating system, web browser, and security software are critical in keeping your and your child’s devices free from dangerous viruses and other cyber threats. According to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, over 70% of breaches were caused by outsiders using outdated software vulnerabilities.

Therefore:

  • Keep all software and devices up to date.
  • Use a trusted antivirus program – you can compare antivirus such as McAfee and Norton – these ones are mostly recommended antivirus software in different researches.
  • Use a dependable firewall to block any unwanted cyber visitors.

2) Protect your child’s personal information

Kids love mysteries and secrets. So, let’s make cybersecurity a fun game with them. Teach your kids not to share specific personal details

Explain how some personal details, like their full name, home address, and pets’ names, are like secret treasures. Just like how they wouldn’t spill their hidden stash of candies, they shouldn’t share these details with strangers online either. This is because these details are often used to guess passwords.

Did you know that, alarmingly, about 232 million of the population use “123456” as their password? That’s a password as easily crackable as an egg! We don’t want our kids’ online accounts to be that vulnerable, do we?

To fortify these small digital fortresses, teach your children to:

  • Create Strong and Unique Passwords – Imagine it like setting a code for their secret treehouse that no one else can guess. Urge them to think creatively and come up with something that others can’t easily figure out.
  • Change Passwords Regularly – It’s like changing the lock on your front door now and then to keep burglars guessing. Explain to them why it’s important to keep refreshing their passwords.
  • Use a Good Password Manager – There are lots of secure, convenient password managers out there. For Apple fan families, using a password manager dedicated to Mac can make your life even easier. It’s the equivalent of having a magical, unbreakable box where they can store their secret passwords safely and effortlessly retrieve them when needed.

3) Click Wisely and Surf Securely

The internet is like exploring a vast city. But not all neighborhoods are safe. So, show your kids the safe paths. Links or attachments from unknown sources can often contain malware or be phishing scams.

Public Wi-Fi networks, though convenient, are not always safe. So, remember to:

  • Stay cautious of what you and your children click online.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi for sensitive activities like banking or personal emails.
  • Use a VPN for streaming – it will be safe browsing experience; it’s like having a secret tunnel only you and your kids can use.

4) Be web wise

The internet can be a playground with swings and slides, but it also has pitfalls if not used mindfully. Enlighten your kids about how to spot and stay away from fake information, online bullies, or adults with wrong intentions.

Also, encourage them to report harmful or inappropriate content online. It’s their digital duty. Start by:

  • Understanding the possible dangers of the internet.
  • Spotting the good from the bad.
  • Knowing the method to report and block harmful content online.

5) Be a good online citizen

Being online is fascinating! It’s like stepping into a whole new universe teeming with exciting things to discover and friendly aliens to befriend. However, remember, manners matter. We wouldn’t yell in a library, would we? Every space has its rules, and so does the digital world! Just as we learn to say “please” and “thank you,” we need to teach our kids digital politeness.*

Let me break down this fun digital citizenship code for you:

  • Valuing Opinions: Everyone has their own thoughts. And in our vast online universe, your kid will meet all kinds! We need to teach them to respect these views. There would be disagreements, but tell them – it’s okay! They can share their thoughts constructively. Show them how a keyboard can bridge gaps!
  • Understanding Boundaries: The online world can sometimes feel like a dream. Yet, some things can turn into nightmares. We must teach our kids to avoid sharing anything that could harm them or others. Safety first, both offline and online!
  • Giving Credit Where It’s Due: We wouldn’t take our friend’s lunch without asking, would we? The same goes online, but with ideas and creativity. Teach your children always to credit the creators of the work they share.

Final Thoughts

To wrap it up, steering our little ones through the vast universe of the web is like guiding them on a thrilling spaceship journey. The online environment is different, but the same set of values guide us – respect, understanding, and honesty!

Yes, we have a tough task ahead of us. But with these easy-peasy tips, you are now a certified guide to ensure your child navigates this landscape safely.

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