Children today are being introduced to technology at a young age by using programs and applications that can help them develop their speech, learn about basic math, or entertain them. However, they aren’t always fully equipped to navigate the internet safely. For this year’s Safer Internet Day, we wanted to highlight a few cybersecurity and privacy tips to keep children and young adults safe while they’re online.
Use Passwords for Parental Control
Most households now have more than one device that families can use. Each device, whether a smartphone or a tablet, should have long, unique passwords that only parents know. This isn’t just a practical tip for everyone with access to a device that can access the Internet, it also allows parents to keep their devices out of the hands of their children and prevent them from using the device without supervision. Setting this example for children is also a good way to prepare them for when they are older and have their own devices and data to protect.
Understand How You’re Being Tracked
Most mobile applications have the ability to track your activity while using it. This data is aggregated and often sold to advertisers that are looking to target a specific demographic. If your child has access to child-friendly applications, it’s a good idea to find out if their activity is being tracked and to what extent. We advise turning off tracking in as many applications as possible in the settings of the device, so their activity isn’t being tracked and they aren’t targeted by advertisements.
Have Conversations About Privacy and Security
Depending on the age of your kids, it’s always a good idea to introduce the concepts of privacy and security when using applications or a device. In general, we need to be careful with the kind of information we post online. Even something as simple as the city you live in can be used by threat actors. It is also important to adhere to the age restrictions of different social media sites and prevent your children from making a profile in a site where strangers have the ability to communicate with them.
In addition, make sure you let your children know how to change their privacy settings, what each setting means, and what information is appropriate to share online. It is also advisable to know your children’s online profiles so you can keep an eye on what kind of information they are posting.
While keeping your children safe online might seem like a daunting task, remember that there are resources and information available that can help you talk to your children and teach them how to use technology safely