Cyber Security Tips for Children – How To Protect Your Kids Online
Updated on July 13, 2021: From now on, traffic filtering, malware protection, and suspicious DNS activity blocking are available as a part of the separate DNS Firewall app.
As a child, you were probably taught to look before crossing the road, get home before dark, and never speak to strangers. Time passed so quickly and now you are an adult yourself. While growing up, you’ve witnessed numerous innovations emerge, such as the first smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, and other gadgets. The technologies grew up with you, too.
Now you probably have your own children and, of course, you do your best to protect them from all the dangers in the world. But you are raising your kids in the new, internet world. Nowadays, cyber security threats have appeared in this digital environment, and our parents’ advice and precautions are not enough anymore. VPN Unlimited team prepared for you examples of threats your children may face online and tips on how you can protect them. Let’s check it out, and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more security tips!
A horror story about an online gadget for kids
A shocking post appeared on Reddit not long ago. It was written by a dad and programmer from Ukraine. The man told about a pretty famous Chinese brand smartwatch, which he bought for his kid. Since this device allows to track your child’s geoposition, call them, and even get photos from their watch, it feels like an essential internet device for any parent nowadays. However, this gadget has a dangerous online security hole.
According to the OP, he wanted to check if the device was safe to use. He installed the app that connected to the smartwatch and analyzed its internet traffic. To his bewilderment, it took him only half an hour to find a security hole and add other kids’ watches to his app. As a result, he could track all their activities. Imagine if some cybercriminal gets such access? Horror, horror, horror. This story proves that you as a parent have to make sure that your kid’s gadgets are safe and teach children basic protective measures on the internet.
How to protect your child online?
Since your kids are growing up in the house full of smart gadgets, they don’t take technologies as anything special. Innovations have become an integral part of their comfort zone. And as it usually happens to kids, when feeling comfortable they don’t think about security at all. So it’s up to you to do the following:
- Explain to your kid the threats they may face online. The key point is that they have to understand why the cyber world can be unsafe and why they have to be careful. You should start with the basics such as what is a suspicious link, how to check URL for malware, how hackers can steal their identity, what’s the difference between malware and virus, etc. Don’t forget to explain that the strangers on the internet are the same strangers that can be met in the real life – that is, kids shouldn’t trust them.
- Teach your kids internet safety measures. Once your child understands the cyber security threats, it’s high time they learned how to protect themselves. You should teach them basic principles of internet safety. For instance, they have to protect their accounts with strong passwords, only chat with people they know or whose identity they can check, install apps with high-grade encryptions, etc. In the end, we suggest that you set rules on the use of the internet, or even sign a special Surf Smart Agreement with your kids. You can also read our Online Security Guide for Kids together with your child.
- Take care of your kid’s gadgets security. In the light of the aforementioned story from Reddit, this becomes essential. You have to check the security of the gadgets that you buy for your child and additionally protect them, if necessary. For instance, you can install VPN software to your kid’s gadgets. It encrypts all of your child’s sensitive data and grants them complete online security and internet privacy.