05 Sep Back To School Cybersecurity Tips
Now that your kids are back in school it’s a good time to talk about Internet safety. It’s also a good time for some Fall cleaning of your own Internet safety. Below are a few tips to keep everyone safe from the bad guys.
- Talk To Your Kids About Privacy – Understanding the risks associated with the Internet is the first step in protecting your kids. The Internet plays a part in nearly every aspect of our lives and understanding the inherit risks is critical.
- Watch What You Click – Teach your kids to type links (URLs) they want to visit rather than clicking them. Many of the links we receive in email or texts are to bogus websites and are used to gain access to personal information.
- Turn Off Geotagging – By disabling the location services on your cell phone, you’ll save battery power and you’ll make it harder for thieves to locate or track you.
- Check Credit Reports – With identity theft continuing to grow, parents should check their children’s credit history at least once a year to be safe. Then, if something comes up, you can have the credit bureaus freeze your child’s credit, which would prevent anyone from opening up more accounts.
- Lie When Safeguarding Passwords – It sounds funny, but those simple questions that websites ask when you need to reset your password are easily hacked. So lie. Don’t use your actual middle name, pet’s name or birthplace as answers, make up responses that can’t be guessed or learned (be consistent across sites to make it easier to remember).
- Steer Clear of Stranger – Sure, your kids know not to talk to strangers in public, but have you made it clear that the same rule applies online? There’s no reason for them to accept friend requests from people they don’t know.
- Set Up Separate Computers – If you can afford it, have your kids use a separate device. This will protect your household or personal information if they are hacked, and vice versa.
- Private Means Private – Explain that they should never share info about themselves, their friends, their family, their neighborhood, or anything that could be used to identify them.
- Watch The Age Restrictions – If a site has an age requirement to open an account it is likely done for two possible reasons. First, and most obvious, the content is inappropriate for kids. But, the other reason may be more surprising…the sites are likely selling the account/user data, and it is illegal to sell data of someone under 13 years old. As an example, Facebook has an age requirement of 13…not because they are concerned what a child might read or see, but they buy/sell user data.