Tips for Protecting Children from Cybercrime

In an age where children are increasingly acquainted with smart devices and the internet, it is crucial that proper awareness and security practices are devoted to keeping children as cyber-secure as possible. Children are growingly dependent upon the internet for everyday activities like schoolwork, online gaming, and social networking. Relying on this information, cyber criminals target online gaming sites and social network platforms to play into the hands of unsuspecting youths. The Department of Homeland Security has launched a cybersecurity awareness campaign called “Stop. Think. Connect.” that promotes cybersecurity and protection from cyber criminals. The campaign encourages parents to follow these tips to protect their children from cybercrime:

  • Create an open and honest environment with kids.
  • Have regular conversations with kids about practicing online safety.
  • Emphasize the concept of credibility to teens: not everything they see on the Internet is true and people on the Internet may not be who they appear to be.
  • Watch for changes in behavior — if your child suddenly avoids the computer, it may be a sign they are being bullied online.
  • Review security settings and privacy policies for the websites kids frequent. These settings are frequently updated so check back regularly.
  • Make sure mobile devices are secure. Use PINs and passwords, only install apps from trusted sources, and understand the privacy settings and permissions for all apps.

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