The 3 P's
1. Practice Safe Online Habits
When it comes to practicing safe habits online, it tends to be easier for parents if their children can understand why we implement online safety practices. Having these conversations can be hard, however more times than not, the child will understand why we utilize these essential cyber skills. Start with explaining basic rules such as posting photos – we truly do not know who is seeing what we are doing and where we are, that is why we only send photos to people we know directly.
Another basic rule to practice as a parent is the idea of ‘clicking with caution.’ Phishing is very dangerous and only takes one click for malicious software to get on any device. Checking over spelling and links prior to clicking is a safe practice to hopefully diminish phishing. It is very important to keep a clean, updated and backed-up device to defend against potential viruses.
2. Protect Your Identity
Protect your family by utilizing privacy settings to secure personal information. The key to privacy is being very minimal with what you share online as well as cleaning up old profiles. Old and unused apps should be checked and deleted frequently. Apps that allow for messaging should be kept private to eliminate people they do not know adding or writing them.
Safe online practices should be talked about and consistently monitored. Engaging in these conversations with your family on cybersecurity should be specific, so they can understand exactly why we practice safe online habits and so you can learn together. Kids today face more online risks that need parental guidance. Implementing age ratings and built-in controls can control and limit access to inappropriate content. Having these rules in place and under a watchful eye can help children stray away from bad practices.
- Incorporate a device docking station in a common space at night.
- Keep devices in common spaces for usage under supervision.
- Control their screen time and ability to log in.
3. Password Persistence
Teach and practice safe password protection for all mobile devices and online profiles. Strong passwords should never be shared or reused. You really should not even be reusing passwords amongst accounts – if a hacker can get into one, they can then get into all. When creating a strong password, the best tips are:
- Make it unique and not personal to you or your family.
- Do not use your name, family name, identifying number or birth date.
- The longer the password, the better. Utilize both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and symbols.
- Do not reuse previous passwords or something too similar. You should be changing your passwords often.
- Pick a password you can remember and not have to write down/have on your phone.
Parents, it is up to you to enforce safe online habits to ensure effective cybersecurity for your kids. Having those conversations on cybersecurity, as well as creating boundaries and rules will keep your kids much more aware. The more time you spend online, the more likely you are to deal with cybersecurity threats. The hackers and scammers target young children because they often lack experience and knowledge, but not yours. Stay informed on the latest scams on our Scam Prevention page. It’s important to make sure you always know the signs so you can educate your kids on cybersecurity training.