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Cybersecurity Tips Every Parent Should Know



Security

Today’s kids are spending more time online than ever. The internet is home to so many entertainment options for kids, and it’s also a fun way for them to communicate with friends. Many children even do their schoolwork online! 


This technology helps kids learn and connect with the world around them, but it isn’t completely safe. As the internet has gotten more sophisticated, so have cyber criminals, so it’s important for parents to protect their children online. Teaching your kids good cybersecurity practices from a young age will help them navigate the internet safely.


Here are six security tips to keep your entire family safe online. 


1. Protect Your Systems


Good cybersecurity practices start with protecting your devices. Install firewalls and anti-virus software on all of the computers in your home, including your children’s. You should also take time to update your systems and applications as needed. Updates are designed to fix bugs and vulnerabilities that developers have identified. If you fail to update your devices, you leave them vulnerable to cyber threats


2. Teach Kids to Set Strong Passwords


Strong passwords are also essential to protecting your devices. If your children are young, have them come to you before creating any type of digital account, and help them create a password when necessary. 


As your kids get older, teach them the importance of setting strong passwords that use a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, and are not easy to guess. Passwords should be stored securely in a password management app that both you and your children have access to. 


3. Keep Personal Information Private


Sharing personal information online is a huge security risk for kids. Talk to your children about the importance of protecting their personal information online. Information like addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, and other identifying details should not be shared without parental permission. 


If your children are on social media, keep their accounts private and monitor their friends list. They should only connect with people they know in real life. As an adult, you should also be wary when posting pictures of your children online. While it’s tempting to share your child’s accomplishments, this can unfortunately attract the attention of cybercriminals who target kids. Instead, limit image-sharing to private messages with close friends and family. 


4. Teach Kids How to Identify Suspicious Messages


72% of children globally have experienced cyber threats in at least one form. This is why it’s so important for kids to learn how to identify and avoid suspicious messages. Encourage your kids to discuss any concerning messages with you, rather than responding. You should also teach them to avoid clicking on any unfamiliar or suspicious attachments, which could contain viruses. 


In particular, your family should be on the lookout for phishing messages. These are emails or social media messages where the cybercriminal poses as a trusted contact. These messages often use poor spelling and grammar and often make urgent requests for money or personal information. 


5. Set Up Parental Controls


Parental controls are settings that allow you to monitor and control the content your child engages with online. Many computers, smartphones, televisions, and gaming consoles have parental control features available. You can also set up SafeSearch in your web browser. 


With these features, you can prevent your children from accessing inappropriate content. You’ll also be able to monitor the information they’re accessing online. Check your child’s account regularly to make sure parental controls are still enabled and watch for any problems. 


6. Watch For Cyberbullying


Unfortunately, 46% of teens have experienced cyberbullying in some form. This could include being called offensive names, being sent messages or images they didn’t want, or even physical threats. Cyberbullying behaviors can significantly affect your child’s mental health, so encourage them to report it when it happens. Remind your child that it’s okay to “block” or “mute” people online who are bothering them. 


Additionally, remind your child to be respectful and kind to others when using the internet. It’s easy to feel anonymous online, and this sometimes emboldens people to be cruel to others. Teach your children that cyberbullying behaviors have real-life consequences, and to remember the human behind the screen. 

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Also, tell your kid to treat other people with care and kindness when they're on the internet. doodle baseball

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