Raising children in the digital age can definitely be an interesting experience. With the internet at their fingertips, new and enriching opportunities are sprouting up each day – but these changes often come with their own set of problems as well.
As scams and malware become increasingly prevalent, one of the most vital lessons you can provide your kids is the importance of cybersecurity. What may seem like no-brainers might actually save you and your children a world of trouble down the line.
Make sure your child is informed and protected by teaching them these top cyber-safety tips.
1. Pay attention to passwords – it’s important to change all the default passwords on any device. Help them choose strong passwords to help boost their security.
- Keep your passwords private – this means keeping it a secret from your friends!
- Use different passwords for each account – in the chance that a hacker is able to get into one account, they can then use that password to gain access to other accounts. Password diversity is essential!
- Use 2-factor authentication – if your child has a smartphone or tablet, help them set it up and secure them with a second layer of protection.
- Never save passwords on a foreign device – and always sign out of your accounts after.
2. Only use secured devices – this means that the device has an antivirus software installed that is up-to-date, and the device is connected to a secured network. Here are some other things to keep in mind:
- Updates aren’t just there to annoy you – Windows updates, software updates, browser updates, they’re actually there for a reason. Updates are designed to patch security flaws and bugs, which hackers are always looking to exploit. Technology constantly improves and needs patches for vulnerabilities to protect you.
- Teach your kids about antivirus – having a dependable antivirus will ensure that your kids keep their computer safe and virus-free. Consider investing in an antivirus like McAfee to keep your kids safe from threats.
- Turn location services off – unless your child needs them for a specific reason, it is safest to have these services turned off. You don’t want a hacker to be able to track your child.
3. Research right – computers are a fantastic tool for homework. Ensure your child is using safe websites to protect them from malware, be sure to inform them of the difference between http:// and https://.
Brush up on your Internet safety skills by reading our Internet Safety 101 Guide.
4. Talk to your kids about cyber safety – explain what dangers lurk in the cyberworld, and the implications of them. Careless cyber-surfing is no joke; data breaches, cyberbullying, and malware are all real threats your child may encounter.
- Draw comparisons of the cyberworld to the real world: stranger danger applies online too!
- When considering posting something online, STOP. THINK. SHARE.
- The bottom line is that the more open and supportive dialogue is encouraged, the more likely your children will be to share if there is a real cyber concern.
5. Run a FixMeStick scan – make sure you’re running a consistent FixMeStick scan on your child’s computer. The sooner they learn the habit of consistent anti-malware protection, the more likely they’ll be to continue the pattern themselves. Lead by example – run a FixMeStick scan today!
Technology is changing day to day, so it’s best to stay on top of the comings and goings in the world of cybersecurity – not just for your benefit, but for the benefit of your kids as well!