The Importance of Teaching Kids About Cybersecurity and Privacy

Technological advancements have redefined the way we live, across generations. With easy access to the internet, we can now conveniently stay safe and work from the comforts of our home. Educational institutions have switched to online learning as well to combat the ongoing pandemic. With an unprecedented amount of reliance on smart devices and online applications from people of all ages, basic cyber awareness is now more important than ever.

While the IT departments of most organizations take measures to protect their business data and conduct frequent sessions to educate their employees on the importance of cyber security, our little ones at home are often left to play or study unmonitored. Kids lack complete awareness of online safety and the potential risks involving cyber attacks. Over three in five children have access to the internet, and they spend over 45 hours per week online. As the internet becomes an inseparable part of childhood, there’s no better time than now for us to talk about internet safety, and we have some cybersecurity tips to help you get started.

Create Cybersecurity Awareness

Mobile devices and the internet have become a common, entangled part of the lives of today’s kids and it’s important to teach them about privacy, computer security, and social media safety at an early age. Brief them about issues such as cyber bullying, phishing, cyber threats, and their impacts.

Secure their devices

If you and your children share a common computer in the house, it’s essential to keep your system updated with the latest upgrades. This increases your device’s safety, protecting your personal and financial details from any imminent cyber threats.

Talk to them about privacy

Kids are often attracted by the lure of online games and social media. Remind them never to share personally identifiable information or financial details with online applications or services and teach them the difference between safe and malicious applications.

Popular social media services like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok require users to be at least 13 years old to sign up, however, many underage users still join. Talk to your children about the impacts of sharing sensitive details on social media and the risks of interacting with strangers online. If you wish to monitor your children’s online activity, use parental controls on their device.

Use strong passwords

Passwords are the first line of defense for any account and their security should never be compromised. Encourage your kids to use complex passwords that include symbols, numbers, upper and lower case letters. To help them generate and remember strong passwords, add them to your family’s password manager account.

Restrict access from public networks

The appeal of free WiFi in public places could get kids with data restrictions excited. However, potential attackers can steal data transmitted through unsecured networks. Instruct your kids never to access sensitive information or to even completely avoid connecting to such networks.

Take them offline

Ensure your kids spend some quality time off-screen to prevent them from getting addicted to being online. Limit their screen time and encourage them to try spending some time outdoors, reading a book, or making something creative.

We hope these tips were helpful. Let us know if you have other online safety tips for kids in the comment section below!

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