Skills that can help kids deal with cybersecurity challenges NOW & LATER

With the growing incidences of cyber-attacks, it has become indispensable for us to prepare our kids to face the challenges of cyber security head-on, rather than shy away from them.

While schools do their best to make kids aware of the good and bad of using the internet, parents are equally responsible for inculcating healthy habits, while exposing their kids to the digital world. This kind of digital ethics awareness can empower our kids to themselves choose between the right and wrong, when using the internet for work or play.

Here are few significant tips that can help you prepare your kids to meet the evolving challenges of cybersecurity head-on:

Initiate open and healthy conversations

Given the fact that today we stand at the cusp of a varied range of disruptive technologies with easy access, it can be a challenge to keep kids away from accessing such technologies. A much productive and efficient approach to this, would be to initiate healthy conversations openly with kids at home and at school.

While some of these technologies can prove beneficial for growing students in the long run, half knowledge could lead to misunderstandings and kids getting abused due to unmonitored use of technologies. Thus, it is extremely essential that we discuss the pros and cons of using these technologies openly with our kids.

Start them off young

While some parents and teachers may argue that there is a certain age at which kids should be taught certain things, the fact is that the millennial generation is too ahead of time! With kids already learning about things like robotics and artificial intelligence, they may as well be taught about cybersecurity and its importance at an early age.

Making kids aware about digital ethics can help them explore and navigate their way through emerging technologies, while not being fearful about becoming victims of abusive technology.

Few other ways in which you can communicate the right things at the right time to your kids regarding cybersecurity include:

  • Ask kids for ways they use to differentiate between what is to be believed and what not, when exploring the digital world. This would give you a fair idea about their reasoning and logical thinking.
  • Encourage kids to safeguard their personal information, by explaining that things shared by them online will likely be there forever and strangers could misuse it anytime they want.
  • Openly discuss with them common online incidences targeting kids like, cyber bullying, child exploitation, child pornography, online child trafficking, cyber stalking, etc.
  • Try and learn alongside kids about the kind of online world they thrive in, challenges they face and how they deal with them.

Thus, a few careful steps taken by us as vigilant teachers and parents, could mean a lot in preparing a generation of young minds, who are ready to take cybersecurity challenges head-on!

Sushmita Kalashikar

Sushmita Kalashikar

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