As Inside Outcomes discussed early in the week, National Cyber Security Awareness Month is focusing on protecting communities and families against threats online. To help, I wanted to offer a handful of key points for helping keep children safe online.
- Talk to kids early and repeat the message often. This is especially important in teaching them not to share content or photos that contain personal information.
- Know exactly who your children are talking to online and where; this may include Facebook, Snapchat, Kik, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and more. Younger users gravitate toward newer social sites or apps where adult supervision or interaction is limited, so it’s important to stay abreast of social trends.
- When they do make the switch to mobile devices, password-protect access to the device’s app store. This will help monitor which apps they’re trying to use.
- Use parental controls and applications to monitor or filter behavior or content, such as Mobicip Safe Browser with Parental Control, AT&T Smart Limits or CynjaSpace. The latter is an Apple iOS app I announced that leverages Armor’s secure cloud technology and messaging from the Cynja (a cyber security graphic novel series for children) to help keep kids’ data and identities safe online.
- Set usage limits for each day. This will limit exposure to online threats, but it’s important to always keep to your schedule.
- Keep your primary computer centrally located. This will become different once they’re old enough for a mobile device, but setting expectations early with a machine in the open will help ease transitions later.
These are just a handful of suggestions to help protect children online. This is behavior that must be repeated, evolved and followed through on with consistency. Should you or your family have any questions about children safety on the Internet, please reach out to Armor.