Published on Mar 23, 2023
5 Interactive Ways for Kids to Educate Them about Cybersecurity and Staying Safe
One of the best things you can do as a parent is to teach your child about cybersecurity and how to stay safe online. As you know, children these days cling to the internet. Whether they want to watch a cartoon series, play a game, or have an online class, they use the internet all the time.
Even though the internet is extremely beneficial and certainly makes our lives easier, it won't be wise to neglect the drawbacks it brings along. That's right. No matter how amazing your device is, the chances of getting hacked or catching malware remain high. Your device is even more vulnerable when it's in the hands of your child.
The reason is that children are unaware of the consequences of most things and they often give out sensitive information when experimenting with things. The same could happen when your child browses the internet on his own. Now the question is, how to keep your children safe from cybersecurity issues? How to educate them about it? Thankfully, there are ways to go about it.
Introduce Them to the Basics
One can never learn properly if one isn't aware of the basics. If you want your child to learn about cybersecurity, you need to introduce him or her to the basics of cybersecurity. Let him/her know what cybersecurity is and what makes it important.
Also, let me know a bit about what happens when a device is hacked and how it can affect your children as well as you as a parent and your device. When they'll be aware of the consequences of a cyber-attack or catching malware, they will naturally stay cautious when using the internet. It is like you're motivating them for a greater good.
Share the Online Time with Them
Share the time with them that they spend on the internet. You can never really anticipate what a game or gaming website is like until you play or visit it. Similarly, you won't know what your child is actually doing unless you become a part of it. Thus, I suggest you share the time they spend on the internet.
If they're playing a multiplayer game, take your part and play with them. In case they're watching a movie or a cartoon series, sit with them for a few minutes and see what they're watching. If you're not satisfied with the content of the game or movie, you'll know that it's time to stop your child and back them off.
Let Them Know About the Precautionary Measures
When it comes to cybersecurity, a lot of things can help you stay on the safer side. It would be great to introduce your children to them. Once you know what your child is doing on the internet, let them know about the precautionary measures or things that provide online security.
For the game your child loves, make him realize the importance of having a password. Also, make him understand that the password needs to be complex so that nobody could guess it right. Besides that, downloading and installing a VPN on different devices that your children use is a good idea. Ask them to use it every time they open a web browser or search for something. It will keep them secure against malware or phishing scams.
Educate Them About Phishing Scams
Children these days are pretty fast but that doesn’t mean they won’t fall victim to phishing scams. Many times, phishing emails look as good as real. They come from valid email addresses and bring along informational content. Not to mention, a lot of them offer prizes and money.
Such things can attract children very easily and they might give their personal information out of curiosity. To keep your children safe, educate them about phishing scams and how dangerous they can be. Let them know that they’re not allowed to respond to any email or online message without consulting you.
Watch Informative Videos Together
Lastly, please know that stuffing your children with information about cybersecurity won't help them much. Behavioral sciences suggest that children learn by imitation. They learn by your actions a lot faster than anything else and they often copy you along the way.
Therefore, it's best that you practice cybersecurity tips along with them. Take out a few minutes from your day, sit with your child, and watch an informative video together. Make sure it's an interesting one, so your child doesn't get bored. Also, discuss the video with them and make a pledge to practice it together. When they see you following cybersecurity tips, they'll imitate you.
Convincing your children about cybersecurity issues and threats may not be easy. Due to not being educated enough about the matter and not being fully aware of the consequences, they might not believe you all at once. In other words, it will take you some time to convince them that they need to be safe when using the internet. All you need to do is ensure that the process remains educational, interactive, and interesting.
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