Matt Moenter, Information Technology Officer
Whether it’s from your company’s IT Team or the latest news on your browser, you’re hearing about the importance of online security day in and day out.
With topics likes “what not to send via email” “how to create strong passwords” and more, you probably feel like you have a handle on your cybersecurity awareness — but what are you doing to keep your kids safe online? Do you know what they’re looking at?
According to a report by Common Sense Media, nearly 62% of teens spend more than four hours a day on screen media and 29% use screens more than eight hours a day.
Here’s a few tips and tricks to help educate your children and keep them safe this Cybersecurity Awareness month:
- Increase Awareness – Start them young. Help your children know the basics of staying safe online. Media like games and videos can help define computer terms.
- Protect your Kid’s (and Your) Identity – Remind kids to never give out personal information. They may have memorized your debit card PIN or know where your checks are stored. Remind them what’s off limits and not to talk about that information to people outside the family.
- Protect your Computer – Install and keep up-to-date modern security software to protect your family. ANY data stored on the computer is free for the taking if a hacker gets on your computer.
- Monitor Online Activity – Windows 10, along with many popular home wireless routers support parental controls that can restrict what your kids can/cannot see or do online.
- Help Prevent Cyberbullying – Cyberbullying can happen anywhere and anytime. Help your children think through what they post online about other people and the consequences those posts could have.
Fun and Factual Resources for Online Security
Need a little back up to drive these points home? Check out these links for more helpful information:
- https://sos.fbi.gov/ – Find games for kids grades 3-8 to teach them about safe online surfing from the FBI.
- https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0006-talk-your-kids – Resources from the Federal Trade Commission on how to talk to your kid about online socialization.
- https://news.microsoft.com/en-in/features/windows-10-parental-controls-feature/ – How to use parental controls in Windows 10.
- https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201304 – How to use parental controls on IOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod) devices.
- https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1075738?hl=en – How to use parental controls on Android devices.
The bottom line? The best way to protect your kids online is to talk to them! Starting a conversation about online usage early, will better prepare them in the long run and make them more comfortable coming to you if they ever run into a problem.
Would you like to add a little more peace-of-mind when it comes to your kid’s finances? Whether that look like account notifications or debit card management, we can help with that too!
About the Author
Matt Moenter is an Information Technology Officer at Waterford Bank, N.A. and father of three. Taking the phrase, “To beat a hacker, you need to think like a hacker” to heart, he has earned his Certified Ethical Hacker credentials though various rigorous certification exams.