Never has the Internet been more accessible than now. Anyone can visit their favorite sites, talk to their friends, or find work, all from their seats. But with all the good the Internet brings, it’s easy to ignore the risks facing all users.
Adults are not the only ones exposed to data security and privacy challenges, children are too. From cyber criminals looking to scam naïve children and teens to online predators seeking out their next victim, children are constantly targeted online. So what can you, as a parent, do to protect your children?
5 Ways to Keep Cyber Criminals From Your Children
1. Install Security Software on Your Children’s Devices
Children don’t understand the risks facing them online. They’re naïve—too trusting of strangers—and this naivety makes them susceptible to criminals and predators. One way you can protect your kids from themselves is by installing security software on their devices.
For example, downloading a VPN on their phone or laptop will keep their online activity anonymous, keeping cybercriminals from stealing their information. Anti-virus software notifies them of any dangers on their device and automatically stops viruses and malware.
The point is, security software is a necessity these days, especially for kids who may end up clicking on the wrong link or downloading the wrong program.
2. Monitor Your Children’s Online Activity
It’s important to give your children a limited amount of freedom once they reach a certain age. However, the occasional check of what they’re up to is ok and recommended in many cases.
Occasionally check your children’s online activity. Check for any suspicious conversations, unsafe programs/downloads, and their most frequently visited sites. Again, give your children some privacy, but keep tabs on them every so often.
3. Teach Your Children Proper Cybersecurity Etiquette
Before you set your children free and give them unlimited Internet access, teach them proper cybersecurity etiquette.
Proper cybersecurity etiquette refers to safe practices on the Internet; practices such as:
- Ignoring suspicious and unknown links and websites
- Avoiding the downloading of any unsafe program
- Frequent virus scans on their devices
Teaching them these practices and emphasizing the dangers waiting for them on the Internet will help prepare them for the Internet. And those lessons will give them a foundation for online security they can build upon as they get older.
4. Enable Parental Controls
Parental controls are settings that focus on children’s security and privacy. These settings often include options to limit how long children can spend on apps, what they can watch, and how they interact with the device.
Taking advantage of parental controls available on platforms like YouTube will help keep your kids safe, especially as they are exposed to various kinds of information online.
5. Enforce Strong Passwords
Passwords guard everything about you, from your bank account’s financial information to your social media account containing your address, email, phone number, and other real-life details.
Teach your kids early to take passwords seriously. Many people reuse the same password for all of their accounts, which is discouraged by security experts make sure your kids are using unique passwords for every account they use.