Kids engage online far differently than adults. Between group chats, social apps, and keeping up with digital trends, their interests, and attention spans constantly shift, which means online privacy concerns get sidelined.
That’s why, throughout October—Cybersecurity Awareness Month—we will be doubling up on resources and insights your family needs to be safer and more secure online. Ready to roll? Here are a few ways to move online privacy center stage.
5 ways to focus kids on privacy
1. Safeguard the fun.
Few things will put kids to sleep faster than talking with parents about online stuff like privacy. So, flip the script. Talk about the things they love online—shopping, TikTok, and friend groups. All that fun could come to a screeching halt should a bad actor get a hold of your child’s data. Establishing strong digital habits allows your child to protect what they enjoy including their Venmo account, video games, and midnight chatting. Doing simple things such as maximizing privacy settings on social networks, limiting their social circles to known friends, and refraining from oversharing, can dramatically improve digital privacy.
2. Relationship = safety.
We say it often: The best way to keep your kids safe online is a strong relationship. A healthy parent-child connection is at the heart of raising kids that can make good choices online. Connect with your child daily. Talk about what’s important to them. Listen. Ask them to show you their favorite apps. Soon, you’ll discover details about their online life and gain the trust you need to discuss difficult topics down the road.
Layer up your protection.
Studies show that 88% of all data breaches are due to human error. For that reason, consider putting an extra layer of protection between your family and cyberspace. A few ways to do that:
- Consider comprehensive security software to protect family devices from viruses, malware, and identity theft
- Think about Parental controls to block inappropriate websites and apps, establish time limits, and monitor potential behaviors that could compromise privacy.
- Stay informed on digital trends, scams, digital literacy, and new technologies.
3. Build your digital offense.
A good offense is the best way to defend yourself against would-be criminals out to grab and misuse your data. Offensive tactics and habits include using strong passwords, maximizing privacy settings on social networks, using a VPN, and boosting security on the many IoT devices throughout your home.
4. Deep clean your digital house.
Get in the habit of deep cleaning your technology and bring your kids into the routine. Here’s how:
- Together, remove unused apps from all devices
- Add Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to your account passwords
- Update all device software
- Wipe social profiles (including posts) clean of personal or family information such as full names, school name, birthdate, age, address, phone number, email, or location patterns. Do it together and even throw in a few rewards.
October: Level up family cybersecurity
It’s hard to slow down and get serious about online privacy if you’ve never experienced a breach or online theft of some kind. However, chances are, the dark side of online living will impact your family before long. Ready to go deeper? Dig into these cyber security tips for every age and stage.
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