The advancement in technology and Cyber Security means kids are using Ipads, computers and smartphones like never before! Accessing so many apps and using shared passwords for the family etc.
We know this, but how do we get the message of Security across to our children?
The Cyber Spooks can help!
A Children’s book that takes the young readers on an exciting adventure fighting Cyber Crime. Along the way they will learn so many Online Safety tips, such as the importance of passwords. This Superhero style book is a the brainchild of Anthony Sweeney a writer and former head of Cyber Security.
The series of books are ideal for ages 9 years and upwards . The first book covers a hack on the central banks in London while the hero’s son Carlo is caught up in the action when joining his dad in work or a day.
There is a free kids Online Safety Guide on the Cyber Spooks website – Click here to download
Remaining constantly aware of everything children are doing online can be a full-time job for any parent. Kids these days may seem pretty sharp with technology and the Internet; however, we forget that they’re still learning (and so are we) and may not always be prepared to spot the risks and pitfalls of being constantly connected. We’ve put together some tips for you as a parent to ensure that your children are safe on the Internet, and some basic cyber security tips that you can share with your children. The best way to fight cybercriminals is through education, and that can start at any age.
Being online can take up a lot of free time, whether you’re a parent or a child. It’s easy to get caught up in playing online games, watching YouTube videos, and chatting with friends. But remember, there is a world outside of the Internet, so try to balance your child’s time between the two accordingly. Only allow your child to access to the Internet (with the exception of doing homework) for a set, limited time each day.
If your child wants to join a social media site, choose sites that are appropriate for their age. Many social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have an age minimum of 13 years old. It’s a good idea to have access to your child’s account credentials so you can supervise what they’re doing, such as adding new friends, receiving suspicious messages, or posting questionable content. It’s also a good idea to look for kid-friendly social media sites for your kids to focus on, or simply inform them they’ll have to wait until they’re older to join such platforms.
The computer should be in a common area of your home. That way, you can keep an eye on your child, removing the temptation to visit websites or perform activities they are not allowed to do normally. Another way to add an extra layer of safety, since parents don’t have eyes in the back of their heads, is to upgrade to a Norton Security Premium account, which will give you insights into your child’s Android mobile device activities as well. It will even allow you to choose which apps your children can use — and the ability to turn off access to Facebook or YouTube. Remember to keep all security software updated to ensure optimal protection.
Personal information is anything about you. Your full name, where you live, your school’s name, your parent’s names, your home address, and phone number. These pieces of information can help a stranger on the Internet find you, so be very careful about whom you give this information to. Do not give it to anyone you have not met in real life. If you share any of this information on social media sites, be sure to check the privacy settings on the site to make sure none of it is viewable by the public.
A strong password is a password that is no less than eight characters, and should not include words that can be found in a dictionary, as that makes it easier for hackers using computer programs to guess your password. They should contain a mixture of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and special characters. Don’t reuse the same password on every site you visit.
When creating an account to join a website, be sure to create a username that protects your personal information. Don’t use your full name as the username, as that is part of personal information that strangers can use to find out more about you by doing a simple Internet search.
What you post online will stay there forever, even if you delete it. Colleges and future potential employers will check out social media profiles of applicants, so make sure that what you post online is appropriate, and check your security settings to be sure that everything you post can only be seen by your friends. If you don’t know how to do that, you can ask an adult for help. Beware of “catfishing.” Catfishing is when a person sets up a profile and pretends to be someone they’re not. You may think you’re talking to a kid your age, but it could be an adult pretending to be a child behind your computer screen. Use caution when someone you don’t know approaches you on social media, and if something about it makes you feel uncomfortable, you should notify a parent or teacher as soon as possible. And remember, if you don’t know the person, do not “friend” him or her.
Cyberbullying is similar to bullying in real life except that it takes place via electronic devices. This can be a mean text message, rumors spread on social media sites, and even posting personal information about you online. If you come across a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable or bad, do not respond to it yourself. Instead, notify a parent or teacher about the hurtful messages. Adults take cyberbullying seriously, and there can be consequences for the bully, such as being suspended from school or getting disciplined by their parents.
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There are a vast number of subjects parents have to help their children navigate as they get older. Among these is proactively educating children about internet safety and how to protect oneself online every day.
For a generation reared online, so to speak, it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint an age when children are not engaging with the internet. Since the internet is everywhere, and since the way we use it is constantly changing shape, platforms, and algorithms, it’s important to recognize that personal cybersecurity isn’t a topic to cover some day “when they’re ready.”
Members of Generation Z are digital natives because they’ve used the internet and mobile devices practically from infancy. And if parents instill the right habits early, they can be cybersecurity natives, too.
So, how should we approach the topic of cybersecurity with our kids?
First up, parents: choosing unique passwords for each account is a must, and kids today need to understand that using one single “master password” for all accounts is unsafe. If this password gets compromised by a data breach, any other accounts linked to that same password are now at risk since hackers have the credentials. By the time we realize our data is leaked, it’s usually already too late to prevent the impending damage—such as stolen identities or hacked email accounts. With all the data breaches making headlines these days, you need to do everything you can to keep your children’s accounts secure. Ensure they use a strong, unique password for each account to help protect data from hackers.
We hear it all the time, but that’s because it’s the best advice: passwords should be complex, contain 12 or more characters, and use a combination of letters and numbers. Additionally, it’s never a good idea to use names, birthdates, or other personal information in a password.
Of course, it can be challenging to remember individual passwords across numerous online accounts. So, you might opt to use a password management tool—such as Dashlane or the ironically-named 1Password, both of which encrypt and store multiple passwords to help keep track of your credentials. These tools are fairly kid-friendly too, to make it easier to get your kids in the habit of using them early on.