Raising a child in the twenty-first century entails raising a digital native; they are continuously connected to the Internet via smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices. The internet accompanies children wherever they go, making cybersecurity for children an increasingly crucial issue to address.
Many children and young adults are continuously connected to the internet, but more than 40 percent of them have or will disclose sensitive and personal information online, according to research. This is dangerous, but children who lack knowledge of cybersecurity or who lack premium online security are more likely to unwittingly place themselves in danger. This piece is intended to demystify cybersecurity for children and facilitate discussions about cybersecurity.
The Internet accompanies children wherever they go, making cybersecurity for children an increasingly crucial issue to address.
Steps to Demystify Cybersecurity to Children
1. Obtain Your Education First
Before you can begin teaching cybersecurity to kids, you need to grasp the concept first. There are numerous risks associated with online browsing, but it is difficult to explain and enforce internet safety for children when you lack complete information.
There are three categories of online threats that children may encounter:
Following these tips — and continuously learning about cybersecurity — is the first step to keeping you and your family secure online.
2. Document and Communicate Internet Expectations
It is essential to establish and maintain internet expectations before going online. These expectations will govern household internet use, and they can be used to explain the dangers of surfing the web.
Your web expectations should include the following:
You should strive to create restrictions that are both flexible and protective when establishing internet expectations. As children grow older, it becomes permissible to include them in discussions about their online expectations.
Create and sign a family media agreement after establishing and consenting to internet expectations. These agreements will hold everyone accountable for their online behaviour, thereby promoting Internet safety.
3. Be Proactive, Use Empowerment-Based Approach
The online world can be hazardous, but it needs not be frightening for children or adults. Scaring children away from the Internet is not an effective safety measure. Instead, teach children how to protect themselves online through empowerment.
They will likely appreciate the respect you show them and take their responsibility seriously if you give them responsibility for their own online safety. Additionally, do not presume that a child’s knowledge of cybersecurity. Instead, inquire about their comprehension and assist them in filling in the gaps.
This type of proactive approach can aid in establishing a child’s trust in an adult. It requires more than a one-way conversation to educate children about cybersecurity; both parties must be aware of the risks and take responsibility for their own safety.
4. Establish a Secure Environment
Even with an empowerment-based approach, it is possible that a child will make an error or violate an internet rule. You want to be the person a child feels secure reaching out to in this situation.
Periodically monitor your child’s online behaviour and keep your family media agreements handy, but be willing to discuss altering expectations as your child ages. In addition, remind them of the risks associated with online activities and assure them that you will be there for them if a difficult situation arises.
5. Invest in Cybersecurity Tools
Teaching children about cybersecurity is essential, but you should also set up protective systems or invest in cybersecurity tools to add an extra layer of protection to your online browsing. Consider security measures such as:
6. Teach Cybersecurity Vocabulary
When imparting cybersecurity knowledge to children, they must be familiar with the terminology. Although children may not immediately comprehend how all these terms work together, it is essential to discuss them.
To start, teach cybersecurity terms like:
Review your terms regularly, and add new words, too. This way they’ll be prepared to communicate with you if they end up in a scary situation online.
7. Choose Age-Appropriate Resources
Cybersecurity can be a complicated topic. Children need access to age-appropriate resources to best understand cybersecurity for kids. Consider downloading or purchasing educational apps, or using specific printable and online resources to educate kids about cybersecurity.
This article was written based on Panda Security’sCybersecurity for Kids
Author: Emmanuel K. Gadasu
(CEH, CDPS, CIPM, BSc IT, MSc IT and Law*, LLB – (Data Protection Officer, IIPGH and Data Privacy Consultant and Practitioner, Information Governance Solutions)
For comments, contact author via firstname.lastname@example.org or Mobile: +233-243913077