Cybersecurity for Kids

In today’s digital world, individuals and children use devices daily. Learning how to keep your data and devices secure from cyber threats is simple but explaining to your children how risks may occur is not always easy. Read below for quick tips on how to teach your children about the importance of cybersecurity and explanations of the warning signs to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrimes.

Phishing

Phishing is an attempt by a third party to solicit confidential information from an individual, group, or organization by mimicking or spoofing a specific, well-known brand for financial gain.

How do you explain this to your child? That’s simple—because the analogy is in the name—fishing! Alike fishing for recreation, cybercriminals use bait to lure their fish (your child). However, in this case, the bait is the message they want your child to click on to trick them into biting the worm (the scam). There are a few hints to look out for in emails to avoid these cyber threats.

  • Link your child’s email to your device and enable notifications. Review these messages together to spot signs of phishing.
  • Keep a close eye out for blurry or pixelated images or requests for personal information.
  • Check for spelling mistakes and grammar errors – this is usually a clear indicator of a scam.
  • If the message or offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is!

Malware

Malware or malicious software is a type of file that can harm your device or the files on it. When educating your child, use the analogy, the flu. If your device downloads malware or connects to another device that has malware, it will get “sick” and start opening programs or deleting files without your action.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that holds your files “hostage” until you pay the ransom. Instead of explaining what “ransom” means, use the idea of being locked out of your own home and the cybercriminal has the key to let you in. Explain to your child that they should regularly back up their data to a cloud, hard drive, or USB key. Further, emphasize that they should never pay for unreliable applications or add-ons to their devices. If they are asked for money, they should tell a trusted adult immediately.

Account Security

Using strong, unique, and complex passphrases is important for protecting your sensitive information. These passphrases should be more than 15 characters long and comprised of four random words. Help your child develop a strong passphrase by picking four things they can find in their room. (i.e., teddybear-door-lamp-blanket). Also, make sure you are using a different passphrase for each account.

It can be hard to keep track of these passphrases for your child. Be sure to use a password manager or write the passphrases down and store them in a safe place for reference. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is also important to use to keep your devices protected. This can be done by enabling fingerprint or facial recognition on your devices.

Network Connection

Public Wi-Fi can be an unsecured network and easy for cybercriminals to steal your data. Cybercriminals can create fake public Wi-Fi networks such as “Restaurant Wi-Fi” to compromise your sensitive information. You may want to warn your child not to connect to public Wi-Fi at all or if need be, avoid making purchases or logging into accounts while connected.

Stay Protected with TIM

At TIM, we believe educating your child on cybersecurity is crucial for protecting their sensitive data. As digital technology is such an integral part daily lives, it is easy for your child can fall victim to a cybercrime with just a click of a button. Parents and guardians must be vigilant in teaching their children about the signs of cybercrimes to avoid any risks.

TIM has the right insurance coverage to protect you against cyberattacks. Contact us today for more information.

To learn more about cybersecurity education for kids, click here.