Protecting Your Child's Online Safety: Tips for Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity has become increasingly important worldwide, given the use of technology with today’s youth it is  especially important to ensure that children are protected when they are online. The internet is such a vast space where just about anyone can access anything at anytime which unfortunately means that it's all to easy for children to be exposed to online predators, inappropriate content, and cyberbullying.  

Cybersecurity Tips for Children

Statista reports that  children are now spending 20% more time on social media compared to the time before the pandemic. As a parent or guardian, it's now more imporant than ever to educate your children about online safety and cyber security. In this blog we’ve listed out some tips to help you ensure that your children are protected:  


Set Clear Guidelines For Their Internet Use  

To help protect your children while they are using the internet, it is important to set clear guidelines with them for their internet use. Guidelines could include things like setting time limits, explaining which websites and apps they are allowed to use, and monitoring their online activities. It’s important that these guidelines are communicated clearly to your children in addition to educating them about the potential dangers of the internet such as cyberbullying and online predators.  

Teach them about cyberbullying  

It’s an unfortunate fact that cyberbullying  has become a major problem for today’s youth. Cyberbullying is a form of harassment that takes place online and it can have really devastating effects on a child's mental health and overall wellbeing. To help prevent the devastating impact that cyberbullying can have. Children should be educated on how to recognize what cyberbullying is and what to do if they experience it.  A study by the Cyberbullying Research Center, which surveyed more than 25,000 students since 2002, reported that approximately 27% of teenagers and 15% of preteens have experienced cyberbullying at some point in their lives.  Encouraging your child to talk to you or another trusted adult if they are ever targeted by cyberbullies can help to open the lines of communication.  


Use parental controls  

Many internet providers now offer tools that allow parents to set limits on what their children can access online. These controls can be used to block inappropriate content, set time limits for internet use, and even monitor their online activity. Some devices also have built-in parental controls that can restrict a child’s access to certain apps or limit their screen time. Using these parental controls help to better enable you to provide a safe online environment for your children, while also allowing them to explore and learn in a controlled, safe setting.  


Teach them about password security  

We often think about password security as adults, but children should also understand the importance of creating strong passwords and keeping them private. When discussing password security with your child, review how to create strong passwords that include a combination of phrases, uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Once they understand how to create a strong password, make sure they also understand the importance of not sharing their passwords with anyone, including friends and family members. For extra security you can encourage them to use different passwords for each of their accounts, this will help to minimize the risk of hackers accessing all of their accounts if one password is compromised. A step further would be to encourage them to regularly change their passwords to prevent unauthorized access to their accounts.  


Monitor their activity  

Keeping your child safe online means keeping an eye on their online activity and having open conversations with them about what they're doing online. Monitoring your child's online activity can help you preemptively detect any potential cyber threats or inappropriate behavior. You can use monitoring software as mentioned above or you can simply check their browsing history regularly. Monitoring their activity allows you to help them understand what is appropriate and what is not in terms of online behavior. It’s important to communicate with your child about why you are monitoring their activity and ensure that they feel comfortable coming to you with any concerns or issues they may face online.  

Educate them about phishing scams  

Phishing scams are one of the most common tactics used by cybercriminals to steal personal information from people. Teaching your children to be cautious when they receive unsolicited emails or messages that request their personal information, such as login credentials or financial details can help to protect them from criminals. Encourage your child to verify the authenticity of the message sender and to never click on suspicious links or attachments. You can help them to recognize the warning signs of a phishing attack, like messages that appear urgent or threatening, contain spelling and grammar errors, or messages that offer rewards or incentives for sharing information.  


Use antivirus software  

You can use antivirus software to help protect your child's device from threats like malware viruses. If you don’t already have antivirus software on your child’s device, make sure to install and regularly update antivirus software from a reputable source. Some antivirus programs offer additional features like firewalls and anti-spam protection, which can help to further protect your child when they are online. It’s important to also encourage them to report any suspicious activity or pop-ups that may appear on their device to you right away.  


Cybersecurity for children is important and it's never too early to start educating them about online safety. If you have questions about how to stay safe online, please contact us and we are happy to help. 


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