As a parent, you’re always looking out for your children’s safety whether in the school yard, in the classroom, and as they cross the street. In today’s day and age, cyber security for teens is just as important as your day to day care. As they get older, safeguarding your tween means actively participating in their online lives, i.e. staying in the know on what cyber threats await them in the uncontainable hype beast that is internet culture. That is no easy task, particularly due to the fact that the danger lurking out there is largely unimaginable to the average adult. Added to the complexities of navigating cybersecurity in today’s world, is the fact that your tween (kids aged 8 – 12) is feeling the nascent urge to be a part of a bigger group, either online or in-person. But, while they are shifting gears on the road to adolescence, they are still facing adult-sized risks online with all the naïveté and innocence of a little kid. The sooner you talk to them about cybersecurity, the easier it is to lay down the foundation for a safe future for them online throughout their entire lives. Here are our top 5 tips to help with cyber security for teens.
Top 5 Tips for Better Cyber Security for Teens and Tweens
Truth is, the private data they are sharing today is the same information they’ll need to ensure is kept confidential as adults. And, whether you like it or not, between social media posts and online gaming, your kids are leaving their digital footprints all over the internet—information that will never go away even throughout their adult lives. It’s up to you to make sure they’re secure until they can govern their own digital identities. Protect you and your teen but teaching them how to improve their cyber security online.
Our Top Five Tips to Keep Your Teen Safe Online with Better Cybersecurity
1. Monitor Your Kids’ Online Activity: It’s important to stay vigilant when it comes to your tween’s online whereabouts. Check-in regularly with them about exactly who they’re talking to, which app they use or websites they’re visiting, and what games they’re playing. Make sure that any apps they download are age-appropriate, and be careful about what information (like location or full name) you share about them on social media platforms.
2. Create Strong Passwords For Your Kids’ Accounts: Strong passwords are a foundation for all cyber security and cyber security for teens is no different. Teach your kids the importance of creating strong passwords—and don’t forget to practice what you preach! Each of their accounts has to have a unique password that’s changed semi-regularly for them. You should be the one in control of their passwords. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) options like email or text message verification or biometric security systems like fingerprint scans or facial recognition technology as an extra layer of protection for sensitive accounts. It’s never too early to get your tween started out using a password manager. If you don’t already have one — it’s time to set yourself up for safety.
3. Educate Kids About Cybersecurity From A Young Age: Educating kids about the importance of privacy and how it ties in with cybersecurity is mission critical in today’s world. Teaching your child about how to prepare for a cyber attack can be done at any age. Simple concepts such as not sharing personal information online willy-nilly and being wary of strangers asking questions should be taught early on so that they become second nature later in life. Additionally, explain the risks associated with clicking links from unknown sources and downloading malware onto their devices so that they understand why these things should be avoided at all costs.
4. Enforce Screen Time Limits: Too much screen time can lead to mental health issues like depression and anxiety in young people—so it’s important to enforce limits on how long your child can spend looking at screens for entertainment purposes each day. Establishing a routine where tech time is limited during certain hours of the day will help ensure that tech doesn’t take over their lives while also giving them an opportunity to find other activities away from screens that are both fun and educational!
5. Investing in Security Software Is The Bare Minimum: Finally, investing in security software like antivirus programs or firewalls can be helpful, but in all honesty, it’s not enough to protect your child’s data from malicious actors on the internet. Automated security software can only detect known threats before they cause too much damage and they will alert you if any sensitive information is accessed without permission, but that’s after the fact that your kids’ identities and private data is already out there, potentially compromised.
Wrapping Up – Top Tips for Cyber Security for Teens
Damage control is obviously not ideal. If you want to take an offensive approach, you’ll need a professional cybersecurity team that is capable of responding real-time to cybercriminals on the fly. Keeping kids safe online is no easy task but it’s definitely doable with good communication and some simple precautions! By monitoring their activity, enforcing screen time limits, educating them about cybersecurity, creating strong passwords for all of their accounts, and investing in security software and services – parents can ensure their households cyber security for teens is sufficient!
Contact us for a free Security & Risk Assessment. As a top managed IT services company, we can examine your network and assess how your family is vulnerable to cyberattacks. We’ll guide you and design a plan to secure your family, property, livelihood and reputation from the peril of cybercrime.