Are you worried about your child’s safety?
Crimes on digital platforms are increasing at an alarming rate. You or your kids can fall for any cyber scam or cyber-attack if you don’t take preferred security measures.
But you cannot protect your kids all the time by physically being with them.
Therefore, we recommend you to imply some basic strategies and security measures to save your kids from any inconvenience.
Without any further ado, let’s get started.
1. How Do You Ensure Computer Security?
You might have heard about malware programs damaging your computer. But malware is a broad term used for various malicious programs like viruses, worms, Adware programs, Spyware programs, and many more. Let’s know more about them.
Viruses: Viruses corrupt files in your system. They can travel from one device to another but cannot replicate themselves without the user’s engagement. Once you click and install a virus on your system, it goes on damaging files.
Worms: A worm is similar to a virus but does not need the user to replicate itself. It can travel from one device to another using cables and wireless networks. The sole purpose of virus and worm is to damage any data on your device.
Spyware: Spyware programs records data from your input devices such as a microphone, keyboard, camera, and mouse. The spyware program then sends this data to the developer to analyze and to retrieve essential data like username, passwords, conversations, and credit card numbers from it. Third-party companies buy this data for their research.
Ransomware: A ransomware program encrypts your data. The developer then asks you to send money to get the decryption tool. Sometimes you might get the tool, but most people don’t. It causes a financial loss in addition to data loss. It would be helpful if you keep a backup of your data on a different drive.
PUP: Potentially Unwanted Applications are a category of apps that do not provide any value to your system but bombards you with different advertisements. These ads contain links to notorious sites and malicious apps.
Some viruses don’t cause much damage, and we can recover the file, but sometimes we can’t. If you want to save all your devices from malware attacks in real-time, then install Bitdefender Family Pack. It can serve up to 15 devices and provide additional security features.
You should also enable the firewall of your system. A firewall closes any ports or backdoors in the network that allows data to transfer.
2. Why Is Wireless Security Important?
Wireless security ensures the protection of a Wi-Fi network from unauthorized users. It prevents them from accessing your wireless network and steal the data.
Wireless Security Protocols such as Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wireless Protected Access (WPA) ensure wireless security. There are four types of wireless protocols, as mentioned below:
- Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
- Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)
- Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA 2)
- Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA 3)
WPA3 is the latest addition to Wi-Fi security. It encrypts your private data as Wi-Fi broadcast the data through radio waves, and anyone with a suitable receiver can have access to it. After encryption, even if someone taps into your network, he won’t be able to decrypt the data.
To protect your Wi-Fi from unauthorized access, follow the below security measures:
- We recommend you hide the name of your wireless network.
- Check for rogue Wi-Fi access points.
- Always use a strong alphanumeric password and keep updating it once in a while.
3. How Can I Keep My Passwords Safe?
Protecting your passwords is the basic necessity of today’s world. If your child is using a weak password for his social media account, then he could be a victim of identity theft.
Hackers can quickly guess any simple password using their tools. Once they get hold of your account, they can invade your personal life and spam others in your contact.
Help your kids to create strong passwords for their accounts. You can keep the following points in mind:
- Creating longer passwords ensures more security, but it should be something your child can remember.
- Include numbers and symbols.
- Set up two-step verification for apps that provide the service.
- Use a password manager to relieve your child from remembering complex passwords.
- Never reveal the password to anyone.
A password is all that a hacker needs to gain access to your child’s device and accounts. It is key to your child’s privacy, and it is crucial to keep it secure.
4. How to Secure Social Media?
Social media has changed the way kids socialize. Tech giants like Google and Facebook have introduced a kid-friendly version of their apps like YouTube Kids and Messenger Kids. It provides kids with secure space to socialize.
The apps are designed to filter age-appropriate content and provide parental controls. Therefore it is better to use kid-friendly versions of these apps to ensure your kid isn’t getting rubbish content on the feed.
Some strategies that work to keep unwanted content away from children also keep cybercriminals at bay. It would be best to have multilayered parental controls to monitor any illicit content.
- You can set up parental controls for your devices like Windows and Mac.
- Set up parental controls for web browsers.
- Set up parental controls for the apps your kids use to socialize like Facebook and YouTube. You can block and restrict unwanted content on your child’s feed.
Another way a hacker can trick your child on social media is by Phishing.
Cybercriminals use phishing scams to retrieve personal information. They send a convincing email that leads to a site where you are required to enter personal details like phone number, address, full name, and some more data. The developer then sells this data, and it can be used for many shady businesses. Sit with your child and teach him to follow this practice:
- Check if the email contains the correct font, logo, and colours.
- Check for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
- Hover upon any links before clicking to check if it’s URL is legit or not.
- If you are confused about any mail, then you should contact the authoritative organization.
5. How to Educate Your Child about Cybersecurity?
Internet and smart devices have become the mainstream of today’s youth. Ergo, your kids need to know how to use this power wisely. Like any other moral practice, teach your kids how to be safe on the internet.
Cybersecurity is a serious topic. It would be best if you are honest while talking about it with your kid. Don’t avoid topics because they are uncomfortable or complicated to explain. You can compare the online world with the offline and keep the rules straight. Like:
- No talking to strangers.
- Avoid going alone in unknown places.
- Don’t give anyone your personal information if you don’t know them.
You need to be creative to help your kid understand the security concepts. Terms like ‘malware attacks’ and ‘identity theft’ can be confusing for your child. Therefore, try to give them analogies they could easily understand. For example:
- How computer viruses are similar to biological viruses and can spread from one infected device to others.
- Stealing someone’s identity is like dressing up like him on Halloween to steal his candies.
We hope you got the idea. You can use your child’s interests to help him understand technical concepts better.
Another problem that you have to tackle while explaining such things to your kid can be second thoughts about trust. Your kid should not feel that you are monitoring their behaviour all the time to invade their privacy. Assure your child that if he visits untrustworthy sites accidentally, then you won’t be angry. The communication gap might lead to anxiety and rebellion from their side.
Teach them how to surf the web by searching a few terms together. While you are on it, show them the difference between good sites and bad sites. For example, you can show them how to know if a site has an encrypted connection by looking for the ‘Lock icon’ in the URL, or to see if the URL starts with ‘https://.’
The security of their loved ones in cyberspace is one of the biggest concerns for parents. You can avoid any unfortunate incident from happening by following optimal security measures. Check what your kids are doing online from time to time.
Follow this practice until you are confident that your kids can be safe online on their own. Asking for every detail daily might make them feel uncomfortable. Therefore it is better to use parental control apps to keep away unwanted content.
At last, be polite and show understanding if your kid falls for a scam. Cybercriminals use new strategies every day, and anyone can be their victim. Always try to know more about new scams and better ways to avoid them.
It is impossible to cover all aspects of a single article; therefore, continue doing your research.
We hope you find this article helpful. For any queries and suggestions, feel free to comment below.