Monday, September 7, 2009
Cyber Security for Kids
If you think your kids now just need to be protected from strangers offering them candy or from cars while crossing the streets, then you have another thing coming. Your children need a whole new level of protection especially in this age of computers and the internet. More and more kids are having easier access to the internet. According to some studies, more than 80% of teenagers in the US have access to the internet at home. The parents should take an active role in teaching their children proper cyber security measures.
Most of the time these kids who access the net are not careful enough when giving out personal information online. They don’t realize yet the risks of not having confidential and personal information protected online. From virus, to hackers, to identity thieves, these people are lurking in cyberspace waiting for that opportunity. I can only stress the importance of cyber security for kids.
Now there are several ways where you can help instill to your children the proper ways of accessing, behaving and protecting themselves online. One of the more common venue where your children go on the web is the social network sites where they have online profiles, photos and keep blogs or online journals. Remind your kids that not to accept all those you invite them to be their online friend especially if they don’t know that person.
The problem with these social network sites is that once you add someone as a friend, you can be viewed by friends included in his own network which most of time you don’t even know. These are venues where scrupulous individuals can gain access to your personals.
To monitor their browsing activities or encourage them to ask questions, place your computer in an area of the house where there’s heavy foot traffic. This will make it easy for them to call your attention to their monitor if they want to ask questions or show you something. This also discourages them from visiting lewd and pornographic websites.
These websites are not only inappropriate but are also a repository of malware, spyware and virus applications that can destroy files and even your whole computer system. In this regard, it would be best to use controlling mechanisms like content blockers which prohibits them to access certain websites and also monitoring application so you can take a look later what they actually look for in the net.
It is always good to engage your children in a healthy conversation about the things that did or things they can do online. This way you can teach them proper ways or help develop good habits that will ensure their safety online. You can also teach them the pros and cons of social networking, online file sharing, and even the issues of software piracy and illegal downloads. These are part of increasing their knowledge and understanding about the technology of computers and the net as well as cyber security.
You should always remember that children’s predisposition of being still curious, innocent, and sometimes their desire to be independent can cause them to be careless. That is why ordinary safeguards are not enough when it comes to protection your kids on cyberspace. The previously mentioned cyber security measures for kids are not just an introduction.
You will have to know for a fact your kids computer habits and then learn how you can better protect them.