Educate Yourself First
There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching your kids cybersecurity at a level they understand. Each kid is different and wants different things from their online experience. If you can educate yourself and implement good habits when you are and are not with your kids. Having gadgets is great, especially for you to connect and communicate.
Set Up a Routine
Having an enforced device routine is important to safe cybersecurity. A great way to monitor their device and usage is to have a charging station out in the open where they go. It’s also great to walk through the times of the day they can have screen time. Having these times already enforced make it that much easier for them to get used to and works as a token for good behavior when the kids have earned some extra screen time.
Set Up Basic Rules
It is very important to set basic rules, from downloading apps, searching the internet, where they can use their device, and more. It is crucial to have a clean device, so be sure your kids understand the importance of having their apps and device updated. Apps are a great learning tool for kids, but they also can be very dangerous. It is important to teach them the importance of asking before they download and if the download is requesting access to anything.
Basic rules can be easily monitored with parental controls to set rules within the device. It may be worth passcode protecting everything so only you can let them into a device and app you want them using. Rather than allowing them to use their device on their own, it can be of value to create a space where they can use it out in the open when you are able to monitor their usage.
Use Child-Friendly Resources and Examples
As you teach your kids more and more about online safety, it is important to use examples they can understand. When instances come up, rather than getting upset, use it as a time to learn and walk through the correct way to handle the situation. Learning safe online habits should be continuous. Explaining to your children about hacking, phishing, identity theft, cyberbullying, etc. is important for them to thoroughly understand as they grow up.
Good cybersecurity habits are crucial to keeping ourselves, our information, and our kids safe. Summer tends to be a time where kids are on their devices more and more, sometimes when you are not home and they’re with another adult. Creating a routine and expectation for them will only make it easier to implement and continually educate them.