These are truly unprecedented times. Think about it—before COVID-19, we were worried about too much screen time for the kiddos; now it’s one of the most common ways to pass time during this period of isolation.
And as your kids spend more time on their devices, have you considered that this means they may be more susceptible to cyber threats? (We know, another thing to worry about.)
But CyberScout—an identity, privacy and security services company—has five tips that will help parents feel more confident in their child’s cyber safety. Check them out.
1. “THINK BEFORE CLICKING.” According to CyberScout, online security threats change by the hour and are “extremely sophisticated.” Ask your kids to approach every email cautiously. “The message may sound right, but the messenger may not be,” they say.
“Ask children to pause and check with a parent before they open any email, click on links or open any attachments.”
2. “VERIFY DOMAIN NAMES AND EMAIL SENDERS.” If your child needs email access, talk to them about how to identify proper sources and senders. “Check the URL before typing it in a browser or clicking a link,” says CyberScout.
“Help them to recognize spelling errors, altered graphics and logos as signs something isn’t right. When you spot a phishing email that is obvious, show it to your child and point out how you knew it was a fake.”
3. “USE BETTER PASSWORDS.” Recently, more and more people turn to password managers to keep their accounts secure (since it can be difficult to remember the 20-something passwords you currently have). These managers can create random passwords and can also create a single master password.
“If a password manager is not being used, make sure everyone in the house is using sufficiently complex passwords that are unique to the key accounts,” CyberScout says, “and never let children use any passwords associated with parents’ online accounts.”
4. “MONITOR THEM.” According to CyberScout, monitoring your children’s online behavior should be a daily task. “Don’t worry about being a helicopter parent—set restrictions and enable parental controls to limit what kids can access.”
One way to do this is to look at internet history and/or app usage, and know what programs and apps your child’s school is requiring. Also, CyberScout encourages parents to establish rules about app shopping. “Require children to run any app purchases by a parent or adult.”
5.“SECURE MOBILE DEVICES.” Kids are using all kinds of devices—phones, laptops, tablets—to do schoolwork or stay entertained while in quarantine. So CyberScout recommends parents secure all the mobile devices in your house with “frequent and routine firmware and software updates.”
And finally, back up your data often on hard drives that “are not connected 24/7 to the internet.”
Want more information on keeping your kiddos safe from online threats? Visit CyberScout’s website here.
Image courtesy of iStock.