We all try to do everything we can to keep our kids safe, whether at home, school, or elsewhere. However, many of us don’t put enough time and effort into considering the safety of our children from a digital perspective.
To protect our youngsters at all times, we must focus on safeguarding their identification and other relevant digital details from prying eyes, such as cybercriminals. Read on for some of the key ways to help keep your child’s ID safe online today and in the future.
Install Comprehensive Security Software
Start by ensuring you protect all the computers your children use. One of the best ways to do this is to install comprehensive security software on devices. Select products that cover against numerous threats, like spam, viruses, spyware, ransomware, and other malware. It should also protect privacy while browsing or buying online and send real-time threat alerts if issues arise. In particular, look for software that protects against data- and identity-stealing applications. Quality products include thorough ID security to help guard against ID theft.
It also pays to install firewalls on devices. These programs provide an extra layer of protection against hackers and primarily focus on stopping cybercriminals from breaking into networks and systems via an internet connection.
Keep All Software Updated
Another great way to keep your child’s ID safe online is to ensure that all computer software gets updated regularly. Over time, security gaps open up in programs, and hackers tend to learn about these openings. Software developers release new editions of their offerings when they’ve not only added new features but also plugged these security gaps. If you’re running old, outdated programs, you’re therefore not as protected as you could be.
To avoid being vulnerable to cybercriminals getting into your family’s computer systems and learning your child’s information, update ASAP after software releases, whether for operating systems, plugins, browsers, apps, games, security software, or other programs. It’s best to set everything up to automatically install updates when available so you don’t accidentally forget to do the job manually.
Use Proper Passwords
Proper passwords are also a crucial part of keeping data safe. Many families are more vulnerable to attack because they don’t bother using codes that hackers cannot guess. If you currently use basic passwords like 0000, 123456, or the word ‘password,’ or anything else that might seem obvious to outsiders (including things you might have shared on social media, like your children’s or pets’ names), change these codes right away.
Quality passwords are at least eight characters long and comprise a combination of numbers, symbols, and upper-case and lower-case letters. Change the codes occasionally, and choose different ones for different devices and logins, too, to be extra cautious. That way, if one password is compromised, hackers won’t be able to gain access to everything at once. Plus, ensure your children use hard-to-crack codes on their school login accounts and the games they use.
Educate Kids on a Variety of Digital Dos and Don’ts
Educating your children on the key digital dos and don’ts that can keep them safe is vital. When your kids start using computers often, especially if they do so unsupervised, they need to understand how they’re at risk and what actions to avoid. Have conversations with your youngsters about appropriate ways to go about things online, such as the dangers of opening emails or attachments or clicking on links from people they don’t know or verify.
Explain that they shouldn’t accept friend requests on Facebook or other social media connections from unknown people, too, and to be on the lookout for potential spammers in any digital situation. Also, teach them about common hacker scams, such as phishing attacks, where cybercriminals send emails or post things online that seem to be from trusted websites but are really fake communications designed to look real.
In addition, ask your kids to type in URL addresses of any sites they want to log in to, rather than following links to get there, just in case they happen upon a fraudulent link that takes them to a fake website. Furthermore, you and your children should be careful to only share child-related data with those you need to give details to and whom you trust online.
Follow these steps to reduce the risks of your child’s ID being compromised and reduce stress for you and your family in turn.