This article was contributed by:
Daniel William – Content Director and a Cyber Security Consultant
Daniel William is Content Director and a Cyber Security Consultant at IDStrong. His great passion is to maintain the safety of the organization’s online systems and networks. He knows that both individuals and businesses face the constant challenge of cyber threats. Identifying and preventing these attacks is a priority for Daniel.
How to Protect Your Child from Cyber Attacks
The internet is a fantastic resource for parents and kids. Gone are the days of stacks of encyclopedias. Now, your child can do research online in half the time to help with homework and other projects. Modern children are growing up in a digital age, and from the time they are very young, they are online chatting with family, texting with friends, playing video games, and researching.
Digital Devices and Children
From cell phones to tablets and also PCs, kids are online from a very early age. There is a lot of debate over the proper amount of screen time, and if all this technology stunts the emotional and social growth of little ones. Parents need to decide for themselves how much screen time they want to allow and how early their kids should have cell phones. Regardless, parents must be involved in their kids’ online activities, and both monitor them and teach them how to be safe.
Your best defense against any attack is knowledge. Familiarize yourself with your kid’s digital devices and learn how to secure them. Devise and securely store strong passwords and teach your kids how to do that. Teach your kids not to share logins or passwords. Show them how to lock their devices to keep them safe when they are not using them. Stress the importance of logging off websites when they are done. The more you know and can pass along to your child, the better.
Pros and Cons of the Digital World
The digital world offers so many great benefits like connecting online, texting, along with a veritable unlimited source for research, gaming, and shared interests. It’s important to stress to your kids that the internet is not a bad place but a tool that opens up a lot of possibilities and freedom, but it also comes with responsibility.
However, there is also a downside, and you need to gently communicate that to your kids as well. One of the most dangerous threats are predators who target children online. Another issue we hear about frequently is cyberbullying. You will also want to limit your child’s risk of exposure to inappropriate content, as well.
It’s a dangerous world out there, so read on to find out how to protect your child identity from cyber attacks.
What Can a Parent Do to Protect Their Children Online?
The same way you would protect yourself online is how you protect your children. Kids learn best by example. So, while you are securing your computer with antivirus software, explain to your kids about the dangers and why you are doing it. Explain that not everyone online is honest, and some people want to trick or take advantage of others. You don’t want to scare your kids but make them understand the seriousness of being careful.
Kids are targets for malware, hackers, sexual predators, and worse, but there are things you can do to keep them safe.
- Instruct your kids about ads that target kids with free giveaways and prizes, which are probably just malware. Teach them to never click links in emails or download files or attachments without your permission.
- Keep their devices updated with the latest security patches and antivirus software.
- Set parental controls to limit the websites they can access, to keep them away from sexual or violent content.
- Let them know why it’s important to keep passwords safe and never share them.
- Teach them to use PINs and other security settings to keep their devices safe when away from home.
- Set a rule about installing and using software.
- Monitor your kids’ social media activities and talk to them about cyberbullying (what it is, and what to do about it).
- Secure your home network and employ Wi-Fi monitoring to alert you of any intrusions.
Most importantly, keep an open dialogue with your kids about digital security and why these measures are so necessary.