The internet has evolved to become such a vital part of life, easily accessible, that it has also become extremely important to ensure safety. When used appropriately, the cyber world can be a tool for information, learning, and connection. But with all the Boons, comes the Bane of compromised security. It is possible for parents to ensure that their children learn to be safe, by teaching them Netiquettes.
With many schools now reopening, students may be re-establishing in-person friendships and making new ones, with social media having laid the foundation for many of these friendships. Kids can be exposed to unique risks in cyberspace, that they might be unaware of. Help kids remember that cybersafety should always be a priority, and teach them these tips for promoting their Internet security.
- Personal information should never be given out without parental permission. Remind your kids never to give out personal information, such as name, home address, or telephone number, to anyone they don’t know through email, Twitter, Facebook, or in online chat rooms or bulletin boards. Talk with your children about the online risks of interacting with strangers through the computer and sending notes and pictures into cyberspace.
- Passwords are meant to be kept private and should be unique. No one should ever need to know your password. If someone ever asks you for a password, instruct children to run the situation by their guardian/parent first. For online safety, tell your kids to use different passwords for every online account they have to help prevent others from accessing their personal information. Make sure that you monitor each account and make sure your children know that strong passwords should include elements like symbols, numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and no names or words that others could easily guess.
- Cyberbullying is one of the biggest risks out there for kids. Cyberbullying—bullying using electronic technology—can happen anytime and anywhere. Teach your children to think through what they post on the internet about other people and the consequences those posts could have if they are unkind or mean. You should also keep communication with your child open and speak up if you suspect someone is bullying him or her.
- Monitor online activity: Monitoring your kids’ online activity can help keep them safe. Explore various parental controls and consider what options may work best for you and your family.
- Protect your computer: Regularly updating security software can protect your family against scammers, hackers, and other online threats that can compromise your computer system and, consequently, your family’s financial security and other private information. Using software security that automatically updates keeps your technology current and decreases the likelihood of picking up any malware.
- Increase awareness: Help ensure younger children know the basics of staying safe online by using techniques like online games and videos that will define computer terms (e.g., cyberbullying, netiquette, virus protection) to establish basic understanding.
Cyber Security is not an entitlement, it is a prerequisite! #Whack the Hack(er) !!