Protecting Kids while online-Cyber Security
What is cyber security and why is it important? (Source Internet/Cyber Space)
Learning about cyber security issues can make your entire family feel more secure and safe when they go online. Cyber security is a set of practices that protect the information stored on computers and computing devices and transmitted over computer networks, including the Internet and cell phones.
Questions Parents Have About Cyber Security
1.What are the biggest security threats to kids?
Children and teens can be caught by the same kinds of security problems that affect adults (drive-by downloads, links to malicious sites, viruses and malware, etc.). But there are some special ways criminals get to kids, such as links to “fan sites” that contain malicious links or “free stuff,” messages that look like they're from friends, offers of free music or movies or ring tones or anything else that a child might be tempted to download.
2. How do I talk with my child about security?
Actually security is one of those topics that are pretty easy to talk with kids about, because, just like adults, they don’t want to be exploited, tricked or ripped off either. Just talk with them about how there are some people who try to take advantage of others by stealing their money or their information. Explain that not everything is what it appears to be – why it’s important to think before we connect. Don’t make it a one-time conversation; revisit it from time to time. Ask them what they think and if they've gotten anything suspicious lately. Your kids might know more about cyber security than you think.
3. How do we protect our family's computers?
It’s important to use up-to-date security software and make sure that your operating system and the software you use are up-to-date. Software companies sometimes find and then fix security flaws via updates. Follow the rest of the advice in this guide such as being careful about the websites you and your kids visit and links you and they click on – and always make sure you have strong passwords.
4. How do we protect our mobile devices?
There are security apps for mobile devices, but the best way to protect mobile devices is to use a PIN (personal identification number or password), to be careful about what apps you use and to have a way of wiping your data if your phone is lost or stolen. Visit ConnectSafely’s security center at connectsafely.org/security to find out about apps that will remotely wipe or lock your phone and help you find it if it’s missing.
5. Why do we always hear "Never share your passwords"?
Because it can be tempting to share passwords with friends, and it's not sound cybersecurity. The more widely passwords are shared, the more your data, identity and property are out of your control. Sometimes friends become ex-friends or are just careless with all that's behind your password, so it's important that passwords are kept private, easy to remember and hard to guess. Talk with your kids about why it isn't a good idea to share their passwords – except possibly with you. But if you want to model not sharing passwords, you can check your kids' accounts with them rather than knowing and using their passwords when they're unaware you're in their accounts.