Like most things in life, starting early gives you an advantage, even when it comes to cybersecurity. Today’s kids are no strangers to digital devices. They grow up surrounded by an array of laptops, tablets and mobile phones around them. A recent study suggested that most children owned a mobile phone by the age of seven.
Keeping children away from smart devices may not be practically possible in this day and age of instant connectivity. That’s why it’s important to teach them how to use these devices responsibly from an early age. Good cybersecurity habits inculcated early on in life will help kids grow up to be safe users of smart devices and ensure they have a low risk of becoming victims of cyber-fraud.
Read on for some key tips on how you can educate and train your children to stay safe on the Internet while still using it productively:
Data is the biggest currency in the digital world and kids are its biggest victims. Cybercriminals try to trick kids into sharing personal information by luring them with colourful videos of cartoons or toys. From an early age, children must be taught that personal information like full names, home addresses, etc. should never be revealed to strangers, offline or online.
Ensure you are aware of the content your children are accessing, whether it’s through your mobile device or your computer. Don’t let young children access the Internet without adult supervision. It’s a good idea to use solutions like Quick Heal Internet Security’s Parental Control feature to moderate your children’s use of the Internet.
As a parent, you are the best person to decide how mature your child is. And when you feel that your son or daughter is old enough to understand, start having frank conversations with them about the pitfalls of the digital world and the consequences of being irresponsibly using these devices. The intention is not to scare them but to educate them about how the Internet also has many bad actors along with its many positive aspects. This will help kids understand and become more mature about how they navigate the digital world.
For most people nowadays, social media is the Internet and young people are its biggest target audience. Whether you are a social media user or not, your kids will likely be using social media, whether you know it or not. Keeping them away from social media will only lead to them using it more and not telling you about it; however, moderating their social media usage is a good idea. As mentioned in the last point, ensure your children know the dangers of social media and know the dos and don’ts. Ensure you know who they are talking to and what they are talking about.
The best thing is you can do for keeping your children safe in the digital world is create a transparent culture in your household where your children know that they can approach you if they need advice or help. The internet evolves every day, and there are bound to be many questions on how to use it. If they come to you for answers, give them frank, honest answers and ensure you create a sense of mutual trust.