Your child excitedly uses the family computer for the first time. As he watches his favorite YouTuber, he reads, “Click here to claim free merch!” in the comments section.
Your child clicked on the link in the comment, and now the family computer is infected. You wonder about all the sensitive information — like credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and passwords — at risk. Pop-ups litter the screen and prevent you from accessing the device for any other purpose.
Instances like these almost always happen to children playing online games or participating in online activities. Children can risk themselves and their families if they don’t know how to be safe online. That’s why Google developed a campaign called “Be Internet Awesome,” sharing tips and tricks on how children should navigate online spaces.
Google claims, “Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence.” The campaign includes most of what your kids need to know, but this article will highlight the most essential parts and — more importantly — what Google left out.
The way your children navigate the internet extends to you and your family’s security and financials. Cybersecurity is not an individual problem — it impacts the whole family. Read more about internet safety tips for kids.
Google’s Internet Safety For Kids
Share with Care
Your kid’s interactions on the internet should be kind and thoughtful. But beyond politeness, it’s important to talk to your kids about what’s appropriate to share about themselves, friends, and family.
Establish with your child what to keep private, which includes:
- Full names
- Phone numbers
- School names
- WiFi networks
- Credit or debit card information
Malicious actors may attempt to conduct a cyber attack using the information they can extract from your child. They may also use personal information for identity theft. To protect your family from cybersecurity attacks, ensure your child is careful about what they share with who. Also, establish privacy safeguards to shield your kids from inappropriate content. Here are articles on Apple’s and Samsung’s parental controls.
Don’t Fall For Fake
Even technologically literate adults sometimes can’t distinguish real from fake. Children are especially likely to fall for phishing attempts or sweepstakes scams. Phishing is a malicious attempt to gain personal or other valuable information by pretending to be someone else. It commonly appears in the form of an email or text.
Sweepstakes scams claim you have “won” something extremely desirable or expensive, like a brand new iPhone or $500 gift card. However, sweepstakes scam websites collect valuable information like your address, personal information, or financial information.
Speak with your child about these deceiving scams. Additionally, ask your child to come to you or a trusted adult if they receive a strangely worded message about “confirming” or “providing” personal information.
Secure Your Secrets
Speak to your child about personal security and why it is important. One of the strongest ways to secure your secrets is creating a strong password — every time.
A strong password:
- Does not include personal information.
- Uses uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers.
- It is not reused.
Brainstorm unique passwords with your child. If your child has trouble remembering their passwords, provide a private journal or diary for your child to write them down in. Kids’ internet safety is important.
What Google Missed In Internet Safety For Kids
Types of Cyber Attacks
Malware, or malicious software, is designed to damage your devices and gain unauthorized access to information. If your child clicks on a link and accidentally downloads malware, your personal information and device are at risk.
A computer virus is a code that spreads from device to device and replicates itself. Depending on the virus, this cyber attack may harm the device’s software and corrupt files and data. Viruses can also be incredibly difficult to permanently remove from the devices.
3. Phishing Attempts
Google does mention phishing attempts briefly, but it’s critical to emphasize the danger phishing attempts pose to you and your child. Phishing attempts trick smart adults all the time. Your child will likely be exposed to a phishing attempt and fall for it.
Agency, a cybersecurity company, provides business-level security that protects you and your family from cyber attacks, including phishing attempts. Agency also offers 24/7 monitoring and response against cyber threats by cybersecurity experts.
The Importance of Personal Cybersecurity
Today’s technological era increases the need for personal cybersecurity. Your daily life is intertwined with the devices you use, and the stability of your life depends on your cybersecurity.
Agency offers a personal and affordable cybersecurity plan that allows you to protect your devices against cyber attacks.
Agency also provides:
- Personal device repair for cyber-attacks like malware, ransomware, and phishing.
- Reimbursement of costs for things like loss of use and loss of income.
- Complete ID theft coverage, loss of funds coverage, and credit monitoring.
Knowing that your child is less likely to be bombarded with phishing attempts and malware is one of the many benefits of purchasing cybersecurity. Try a 1-month trial for free to protect your home and family!