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Teaching Your Children the ABCs of Cybersecurity

Teaching Your Children the ABCs of Cybersecurity
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By Marissa Bergen
Contributor, InCyberDefense

Protecting businesses from hackers and insiders who might try to infiltrate enterprise systems is a routine priority. However, there are also people who attack personal computers, and children may be the most likely victims.

The Internet is like a playground to most children. Just as it is a good idea to teach them how to use the Web, it is equally important to teach them how to protect themselves from the cyberworld’s evils.

If you have a child who loves to spend time browsing on a computer, here are some tips they need to know:

  • Protecting private information: Your children should give out their phone number or email address only to people they know and can trust, like relatives and close friends. They should never share their passwords or phone number with strangers or solicitors.
  • Posting photos: Children should think twice before they post or send photos. Some photos taken for fun can turn out to be a source of public embarrassment or attract predators when those online images are seen by others. Once those photos are published online, there’s no recalling them.
  • Chatting with strangers: The Internet is a great place to meet people, but children should be aware that some online contacts might not be who they say they are. Children should never share private information with strangers and never agree to meet them without first informing their parents.
  • Moderating comments: It’s important to set guidelines for what you consider acceptable and unacceptable posts for children. If someone posts something unacceptable on your children’s blog or posts, they need quickly to delete the comment and block the user if necessary. Also, teach your children to avoid getting into online arguments, especially with strangers, because what your children say could harm their reputations or provoke harassment.

Monitor Your Child’s Online Behavior

Parents must continually monitor their children’s use of the Internet and guard against attacks on their cyberspace. It is all too easy for a skilled computer user to send your children emails with pornographic images or to hack your child’s accounts. A hacker could also impersonate or harass your child.

Teach your children about acceptable online behavior and emphasize the limits. If necessary, suspend your children’s access to all social media sites for a specified amount of time.

Preventing Your Children from Being Cybercrime Victims

If you believe your child is a victim of a cybercrime,  change their passwords immediately. Report the offense to the appropriate local authorities.

Cybersecurity is something we all need to be aware of. It is never too early for your children to learn about the pluses and minuses of the Internet.

Be sure that they know what to do to stay safe from cyberattacks. If they learn good online behavior early in life, they will be safer in the volatile online world.

About the Author

Marissa Bergen is a freelance writer from Brooklyn, New York. Passionate about everything from fashion to technology, her writing experience has increased her awareness of digital marketing, cybersecurity and the ever-expanding World Wide Web. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. Google her to find out more about her writing and her other life as a bass player in her family band, The CheeseBergens.