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Cyber Strategies Blog

Cyber Security for Parents of School-Aged Children

Protecting your children from cyber risks in an online world

How aware are you 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

Cyber Bullying is a type of bullying that happens online. It can occur in an email, text, WhatsApp, online game or social media site.

Phishing/Identity Theft is when a hacker sends an email, text etc to get unsuspecting victims to share their personal information. They can then use this information to steal their identity for financial gain.

Oversharing on social media can be dangerous. Social networking can help kids stay up to date with their family and friends but sharing too much information can damage reputations or hurt someone else Once information is out there it is difficult to redact, so be careful what you or your children share.

Stranger Danger is real and extends to the virtual world as well! Online predators have the luxury of anonymity. Always know what your children are doing online and who they are talking to. Teaching children not to give out personal information is vital to protect them online.

How to help your kids protect themselves

1. Have your kids use their devices in a common area of the house

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.

2. Start teaching them about internet safety as soon as they start using technology

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?”

3. Teach your kids how to make a secure password

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!

Speaking of good passwords...

Here are some handy 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.

1. Don't use your name or a pet’s name.

2. Don’t use your birthday.

3. Don’t give your password to anyone.

4. Don’t use the same password for every site.

5. Don’t write your password down. Choose something that is easy to remember.

6. Use a passphrase. A passphrase is a long string of nonsense words that are hard to guess and easy to remember!

7. Work in a few capital letters, lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.

8. 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.

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