A Parent’s Guide to Cybersecurity for Kids

IN THE AGE OF DISTANCE LEARNING

By Ross Ledda, ICS 171 student

Now your kids are online—so learning is online. It is a new kind of danger that many of us are unfamiliar with. As the younger generation makes its way through the first few months of distant learning, the concern of online security issues is on the rise. Here are 3 steps you can enact to let your mind rest in ease as your children pursue online learning:

Step 1: Talk to your child!

Educating our children on privacy and confidentiality is of utmost importance. Teaching them that the importance of withholding information from people, even their classmates, confidential information (home address, date of birth, etc.) will get them to act smarter and think twice about their actions taken on the internet! Just as we would tell them never to talk to strangers, goes the same as a foreboding to who may be on the other side of the screen.

Step 2: Cover that webcam!

If there is any one thing we can do, it’s covering our webcam when not in use! The idea that someone may be watching us through the other side of the screen, though rare – is true! A peak into our private life is far from what any of us want. So, while our children are out of class or simply not in use of their webcam, covering it with something as simple as a post-it note will nullify the possibility of somebody trying to monitor us.

Step 3: Educate and converse!

Redundant as it seems, this is the single most important factor. As said in “Step 1: Talk to your child!”, we must have an open conversation with our children on any privacy problem that we can perceive. Home address and date of birth are only two examples of what not to share. Passwords and email addresses are also things that are not to be shared with random people or websites! Not only should we instruct our kids on why we should not share personal information, but it can go for problems far beyond that! Education and communication are two key factors in ensuring online safety.

As the entire world continues to wait on new ways to combat COVID-19, online education will be at the forefront of learning. While seemingly tedious, these steps are nothing more than second nature than when it comes to tasks such as locking your car door before going into the grocery store!