After the COVID-19 pandemic, a large portion of kids’ education systems have shifted online. As a result, it has increased their access to devices like tablets and smartphones like never before.
This change has expanded their knowledge to new limits. However, increased online access has brought forth several risks, such as internet security threats that can harm their mental well-being.
Thus, it is advisable that parents take the necessary steps to safeguard them. In this regard, the best solution is teaching kids basics of cybersecurity awareness. Keep reading this blog to learn more:
6 practical ways to teach the basics of cyber awareness to children
Here are some of the best ways of teaching kids the cybersecurity basics:
1. Create a set of rules for online safety
An excellent way to start teaching cyber awareness to your children is to set a list of rules for internet usage.
• First, they should never share their email IDs, passwords, school names, house addresses, etc., with unknown people over the internet. Since more and more children are gaming online these days, ensure that they do not use their real names and go for creative, made-up names. This way, it is both interesting and safe.
• Second, advise your child to ask you before downloading anything from the internet. This is because they can be lured by free online games and apps, which are actually malware, and downloading them can make your device vulnerable to cyberattacks.
• Third, they should spend only a fixed amount of time each day browsing the web.
Furthermore, you can consider printing internet safety rules on a poster and pasting them on the wall. This way, whenever your little ones are surfing the web, the rules will be present in front of their eyes. This will further help develop their cybersecurity awareness.
2. Introduce them to Online Security Tools
Another effective step you can take to teach cybersecurity to your kids is to introduce them to online security tools. For example, consider explaining to them the importance of using antivirus software.
These programmes give alerts in the case of accidental malware downloads and block redirects to risky websites. Moreover, you can teach them how to use a VPN. This will reduce vulnerability in cyber security.
You can also encourage them to use password managers. They help generate strong passwords and store them securely for use on various platforms.
3. Show them Real-Life Examples
Now, children learn by imitating the behaviour of their parents. So, the next time there is a virus on your computer, or you report and block a spam e-mail address, do it in front of them. This will help them develop good cyber etiquette, which can help protect their online security in the long run.
Furthermore, make a habit of using a webcam cover. This will influence your child to do the same, preventing hackers from recording and listening to their conversations.
4. Enlighten them on the Importance of Cybersecurity Awareness
Instead of telling your children to stay safe online, consider explaining to them the reason behind it. Explain to them the risks of cybersecurity threats.
For example, you can tell them why they should not share their personal information on social media or with anyone unknown on the web. This makes it easier for hackers to target an individual and commit identity theft, which children should be aware of.
Moreover, you can explain to them why they should not post personal pictures online. Doing so will enable cybercriminals to steal them for committing fraud or spreading misinformation about them.
5. Create a Safe and Trustable Environment
Let’s face it, despite making your kids understand the importance of following rules, they are bound to make mistakes. It is how they learn life lessons. Thus, it is essential for you to create an environment of safety and trust. By doing so, you can ensure that even if they fall for a certain scam, like the ones offering free cell phones or online games, they will not hesitate to ask for your help.
6. Introduce them to Child-Friendly Cybersecurity Resources
Parents who want to teach their kids about cyber awareness can search for several age-appropriate sources online. They may include online activities, printable material, educational apps and games, etc., which can make them learn about cybersecurity threats in a fun and interactive way. Interland app is one such initiative by Google that has a lot of learning material parents can use to teach children about cybersecurity. There are several other games and quizzes available that will help them become smart internet users.
Furthermore, these resources facilitate a more hands-on experience. This can help them learn faster and turn the boring topic of cybersecurity into something interesting.
Just like good habits, teaching kids the cybersecurity basics early in life will benefit them throughout their lives. But, given the grave consequences of online risks, we need to avoid making their learning experience scary. Instead, we should try to make it empowering and focus on developing the skills that will help them stay safe online.
To stay updated about all the important information from the Narayana Educational Institutions, Join our social media channels: