Raising Cyber Savvy Kids
October 12, 2017Austin Castle By Austin Castle: Social Media Manager

Raising Cyber Savvy Kids

Over the last year, a handful of cyberattacks have made news headlines and affected families. High-tech toy maker Spiral Toys was the victim of a particularly cunning hacking scheme. The maker of CloudPets stuffed animals reportedly exposed more than two million private voice recordings and the login credentials of 800,000 accounts. While these “smart toys” are part of a wave of internet-connected devices providing fun and memorable experiences, they are also exposing millions of users to cyber threats. These toys may appear harmless on the surface, but their vulnerability to attack should be kept top-of-mind by any parent.

Educate your family

One of the best ways to ensure your children maintain a safe online presence is to start the conversation around the potential risks they face in our increasingly connected world early on.

When it comes to online safety, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends looking for “teachable moments” that arise naturally during day-to-day computer use. For example, if you get a phishing message, show it to your kids so they can identify similar messages in the future and recognize they are not always what they seem.

BBC reported that “children aged five to 16 spend an average of six and a half hours a day in front of a screen compared with around three hours in 1995, according to market research firm Childwise.” With the amount of time kids and teens spend in front of a computer screen daily, and with hacking and cybercriminals becoming more advanced and sophisticated, it’s more important than ever to teach kids how to be cyber savvy.

One of the best ways to ensure your children maintain a safe online presence is to start the conversation around the potential risks they face in our increasingly connected world early on.

Tips for your cyber savvy kids

In addition to using tools like Webroot’s Parental Controls, CISO Gary Hayslip summarizes a few safety tips:

  • Don’t give out financial account numbers, Social Security numbers, or other personal identity information unless you know exactly who’s receiving it.
  • Remember to also protect other people’s information as you would your own.
  • Never send personal or confidential information via email or instant messages as these can be easily intercepted.

Find more tips to keep your family safe online, wherever they connect.

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3 Responses to Raising Cyber Savvy Kids

  1. Here’s another idea to keep kids safe: don’t let them spend so much time on their devices! 6.5 HOURS PER DAY?! Or even 3?! Are people insane? My kids get 40 minutes per max. 60-80 on weekends. If they complain, they get nothing for a day or two, and we’ve taken it away for a week more than once. And guess what? They are fine; actually they are outstanding. Parents forget they are the ones running things I think.

  2. For years, my doctor’s offices (yes multiple) have been pushing for online services where I talk about my medical conditions using e-mail. I have refused. I know nothing on this magic electronic box are secure. Russian/Chinese/Korean whiz kids with mega math brains have been hacking us for generations. But hey, my wife thinks I’m being paranoid so there you go.

    T

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