Protecting your children from cyber risks in an online world!
June is the time to become more aware of your children’s online activities. Parents need to know how to protect their children from cyber risks in an ever-evolving digital world.
But wait! What are the risks?
- Cyberbullying is a type of bullying that occurs online. It can happen in an email, text message, app, online game or social media site.
- Phishing/identity theft is when a hacker sends an email, text or SMS message to get unsuspecting victims to share their personal information. Sometimes, they take the stolen information and steal your identity.
- Oversharing on social media can be dangerous. Social networking can help kids stay up to date with family and friends, but sharing too much information can damage reputations or hurt someone else. Once information is out there, it is impossible to retract, so be careful what you and your children post!
- Stranger danger is real and extends to the virtual world! Online predators have the luxury of anonymity. Always know what your children are doing and who they are talking to online, whether it is on social media or in an online game. Stay aware and teach your children not to give out any personal information.
How to help your kids protect themselves
- Have your kids use their devices in a common area of the house
- Start teaching them about internet safety as soon as they start using technology
- Teach your kids how to make a secure password
Make sure to keep all computers and gaming systems in a central area of your home. It’s easier to keep an eye on what your kids are doing online if they use technology in a place, you can watch them.
Teach your kids to never answer any questions from strangers online, such as: how old are you? Where do you live? Where do you go to school? Or any personal questions. The best way to help them protect themselves is to role-play the situation with them. “The Modern Parent” says: “Knowing when, how and if you respond to these questions is a skill in itself. With young people, role playing these situations and giving them the actual words to use, can be a good way to alert them to best responses. For example, how could you respond if you were unsure why someone was asking you a certain question? Which questions would you ignore? Which questions would indicate a need to block that person? Delete their request? Report them to the platform? Which questions are giving away unnecessary information about me?”
Help them come up with a funny phrase or silly song that they can easily remember. In this case, the longer the better! And tell them to never, ever share their password with anyone. Even if you have a younger child, it’s never too early to plant the seeds of good password safety!
Password tips for your kids!
Talk to your kids about online password safety! Here are some simple tips to help educate them and get the conversation started.
- Don't use your name or a pet’s name.
- Don’t use your birthday.
- Don’t give your password to anyone.
- Don’t use the same password for every site.
- Don’t write your password down. Choose something that is easy to remember.
- Use a passphrase. A passphrase is a long string of nonsense words that are hard to guess and easy to remember!
- Work in a few capital letters, lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.
- Don’t use “memorable keyboard paths.” Any sequential number or letter on a keyboard is considered a memorable keyboard path.3 Examples are 123456 and qwerty.
What does it take to be a good digital citizen?
A good digital citizen practices safe, legal and responsible use of technology. Here are a few tips for your children or students on how to be good digital citizens!
- Always get permission from your parents before you buy anything online
- Remember to put down your electronic devices and spend time with family and friends
- Always treat others with respect in online interactions
- Learn when to stay connected and when to put down the devices
- Put on your “critical thinking hat” when reading online information
- Avoid all suspicious online communications including emails, texts, ads and more
- Keep your privacy settings set to the most secure settings to protect your information
- Always tell an adult immediately if you receive inappropriate or abusive messages or content
- Make passwords easy to remember, but hard to guess!
Tuesday Training… "Incident Response”"
This module will explore the basics of incident response and the first rules of keeping people and data safe.