With the increase in children attending school and interacting virtually, it is more important than ever to ensure that our kids are taught how to be safe online. A survey conducted by the DQ institute shows that 6 out of 10 children between the ages of 8 and 12 are exposed to multiple cyber risks. To mitigate these risks, cybersecurity for kids is one of the essential topics parents need to be educated about. Whether dealing with cyberbullying, phishing scams, or payment fraud, educating yourself and your children on how to stay safe from these attacks is crucial.
Here are four cybersecurity for kids topics that you should be informing your children about.
1. Educate Yourself so That You Can Educate Your Kids.
The first thing you need to do is educate yourself about online risks. Protecting your kids is impossible if you don’t know what dangers they face.
Make sure you understand the basics of cybersecurity and familiarize yourself with common threats like phishing scams, viruses, and hacking.
Many resources are available for parents who want to learn about cybersecurity. The National Cybersecurity Alliance has a dedicated website for parents called Stop, Think, Connect. Another excellent resource is the Surfshark blog. Surfshark is at the forefront of online security and focuses on informing parents and children about how to stay safe online.
A great area to begin your research in is VPNs. VPNs help to encrypt your online traffic and make it harder for hackers to snoop on your activity. Surfshark offers a VPN service that is perfect for families. It has military-grade encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and 24/seven customer support.
2. Teach Your Kids the Best Practices When Dealing with Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is a huge problem for kids and is one of the most common dangers they face online.
A study was done on nearly 5,000 children between the ages of 12 and 17 to identify how many had experienced cyberbullying. 37% of the kids surveyed said they had been the victim of cyberbullying, with 30% saying it happened to them on multiple occasions.
As a parent, you must teach your kids how to deal with cyberbullying. The first step is to make sure they know what it is. Explain that cyberbullying is any mean or hurtful behavior that happens online. This can include things like name-calling, spreading rumors, or making threats.
Help them understand that cyberbullying is not okay and show them how to stand up against it. Show them how to block and report bullies on social media and teach them to ignore mean comments.
It’s also important to teach your kids not to cyberbully others. Explain that cyberbullying is hurtful and can have serious consequences.
Ensure they know they can get in trouble if they bully someone online. The same rules apply to cyberbullying as offline bullying – it’s never okay.
3. Inform Your Children About Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are a common type of online fraud, where criminals send fake emails or messages that appear to be from a legitimate source. These messages trick people into giving away personal information like passwords or credit card details. According to research, 96% of these attacks take place via email.
Scammers often pose as banks, online stores, or even government organizations. And they usually create very realistic-looking websites and emails to fool their victims.
When discussing cybersecurity for kids, it is essential to teach your kids about phishing scams, so they know how to spot them. Here are the top ways to identify whether or not a phishing scam is targeting you:
- Check the domain. Phishing scams tend to come from domains that start with HTTP instead of HTTPS. This is the first clue that the website is not legitimate.
- Look for typos and grammatical errors. Many phishing emails are poorly written and contain typos. This is a major red flag that you are dealing with a scammer.
- Beware of information requests. If an email is asking for personal information, like passwords or credit card numbers, do not reply. Legitimate companies will never do this via email.
These are just three of the many things to watch out for in terms of phishing attacks. For a complete list, visit this article from Surfshark.
4. Beware of Gaming and Loot Boxes
One way that scammers are targeting children is through online games. Many popular games feature in-game purchases, including new levels, virtual currency, or special items.
Some games also use loot boxes and random collections of in-game items that can be purchased with real money. The problem is that it’s often unclear what’s inside a loot box, so kids can spend a lot of money on virtual items they don’t even want.
Moreover, some of these in-game purchases are recurring monthly fees, so kids could raise a massive bill without their parents realizing it.
Scammers can leverage loot boxes to convince children or gamers to enter their credit card details or make other in-app purchases. So it’s essential to be aware of this danger and educate your kids about it.
Explain that they should never enter their credit card details on unknown websites or make in-app purchases without your permission.
And if they’re playing games that feature loot boxes, ensure they know how to disable in-app purchases on their devices. Financial attacks are becoming increasingly popular, so it’s essential to be aware of the risks.
How to Ensure Online Payment Safety
Payment safety is increasingly challenging in the digital world.
Always check that the website is secure before entering your payment details when making an online purchase. You can look for a “lock” icon in your browser’s address bar, which means the connection is encrypted, and your data will be safe.
You should also never enter your payment details on an unsecured Wi-Fi network. And if you’re using a public computer, log out of all accounts and clear the browser history when you’re finished.
It’s also a good idea to use a credit card for online purchases instead of a debit card, and this is because credit cards have better fraud protection than debit cards.
There are also payment processing types that are more secure than others. For instance, paymints.io is a platform that uses two-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption to keep your data safe. This is especially important when dealing with more significant online transactions, such as real estate purchases.
The Importance of Cybersecurity for Kids
Cybersecurity is a growing concern for everyone, but parents need to consider it. Children are more vulnerable than ever before with the rise of the internet and digital devices.
But following the tips in this article can help keep your kids safe online. Teach them about cyber attacks and how to spot them. And make sure you take steps to protect their information and online activity.
Regarding financial security, companies such as paymints.io are at the forefront of protecting digital transactions. By using their platform, you can ensure that your data is safe when making online purchases. Paymints.io is also a member of the Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud, and part of its mission is to educate people on the dangers of fraud and prevent it.
If you are interested in learning how you can secure your online transactions or have questions about cybersecurity for kids, book a call with one of paymints.io’s representatives today.