A Cybersecurity Guide for Parents: How to Protect Your Kids’ Safety Online



Nowadays, technology and the Internet are everywhere. 

In the past, we would spend most of our time outside. However, now, kids are practically growing up surrounded by gadgets and the online world. 

Children can adapt to this new world quite easily. Still, while the Internet is a place with a lot of wondrous information (and a lot of cute games that can keep your kids entertained), it’s also full of cybercriminals, predators, and bullies.


As a parent, it’s your job to ensure the World Wide Web remains a safe place for your kids. We’re here to help, so this article will contain several cybersecurity measures to ensure that your children are exposed to as little danger as possible.

1. Use Encryption for the Internet Network

As grownups, particularly millennials, we somehow get a knack for figuring out which website is good and safe, and which website looks shady. However, children may not make that difference and will click on whatever website or ad catches their interest. Using an unencrypted network will put your kids at the mercy of hackers and malicious third parties. 

As a result, your IP address may also be exposed. You’ll risk privacy loss, and depending on the case, you might also end up leaking the information to potential cybercriminals.

This is why you may want to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to hide your Internet connection and your IP address. Moreover, a VPN router will help with all devices connected to your home Wi-Fi, securing them. 

2. Monitor Online Activity

Depending on their age, some kids might not know that they are not supposed to enter a certain page – or they know, but curiosity is getting the best of them. Every malicious website is one click away from your kid seeing it, whether you like it or not. 

Once your kid accesses these websites, it might have different consequences. For one, it might make your computer and personal data accessible to a hacker. Secondly, depending on what these websites contain, they might affect your child’s mental health in the long run.

A good way to prevent that from happening is to monitor their online activity. There are several parental control options to keep them safe, and you should browse through multiple options to see which one works best for you and your family. 

3. Talk to Your Children about Cyberbullying

No matter how many monitoring apps you install, your kid may also come across pages or loophole methods. So, they’ll end up engaging with people that are more or less nice.

 

As a result, children end up being targeted by cyberbullies. It can happen anywhere, from social media to a gaming platform. 90% of teenagers admit to having been victims of cyberbullying. If not addressed on time, and if the child gives in to the bullying, it can affect them greatly in the long run.

This is why it’s important that you talk to your kids about this phenomenon – cyberbullying. Monitoring apps can be great for supervising the online activity of your children, but nothing beats having an open dialogue with them on the matter. 

4. Teach Them About Phishing

More and more children fall victim to cyber scams, phishing included. 

Phishing is the tactic that cybercriminals use in order to trick people into clicking their content. Basically, these people will send an email and make it look so genuine that it will be nearly impossible for a child or a teen to detect.

These emails may result in your child potentially accessing the content and giving away personal information. They can pop up at any place, but cybercriminals use a variety of methods to ensure the person clicks and leaks their personal information.

To prevent this from happening, you might want to teach your kid to avoid clicking random emails or messages from strangers, but also messages from friends that seem off (and explain to them what “off” means). The chances are that the friend also got ‘phished,’ and the message was not even sent by them in the first place. 

5. Warn Them Against Posting

The problem with the Internet is that there is never a “delete” button. When you post something, whether it’s a picture or a story, it will likely stay online forever. Before you manage to delete it, someone may have already downloaded it or made a screenshot.

The issue here is that while your child or teen may not be affected by it now, it might come back to haunt them later on in life. 

This is why you need to teach your children that there aren’t any takebacks when it comes to the Internet. Their opinions might change, and their adult life might easily be damaged by a post they made when they were 15 years old. Teach them how to be responsible, and don’t just rely on blocking their social media website; the moment they’re out of the house, they’ll find a way to connect.

The Bottom Line

There are certain cybersecurity measures that you may take as a parent. However, in order for your child to be truly safe, you need to talk to them and teach them what cybersecurity and cyberbullying mean. The more you block them, the more they’ll try to resist – so, try being open with them instead.


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