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Digital Parenting: 5 Essential Steps to Enhance Your Child’s Cybersecurity

Due to the pervasiveness of technology in our daily lives, cybersecurity has become an indispensable component of contemporary existence, particularly for young individuals who commence engaging with digital technologies at a young age. Cybersecurity is the protection of computer systems, networks, and associated data from malicious online attacks. The prevalence of cybercrime, encompassing various activities such as device hacking and personal information theft, is increasing in tandem with the widespread adoption of internet connectivity and mobile devices.

We have a responsibility as guardians to protect our children from these dangers through vigilance and action. To ensure the online safety of your children, you must do the following five things:

1. Enhance Knowledge Regarding Cyber Risks and Individual Responsibility

The importance of cybersecurity education cannot be overstated. Malware, phishing, and espionage are legitimate threats on the internet today, and children must be aware of how to avoid them. An instance of a fraudulent email campaign that requests sensitive information is phishing; conversely, hacking may result in the compromise of login credentials for social media platforms and online accounts.

It is of the utmost importance that parents engage in candid discussions with their children regarding these risks and emphasise the significance of protecting personal information while using the internet. Creating a conducive atmosphere wherein children feel comfortable divulging information regarding their online activities to their parents is critical.

2. Implement Strict Safety Protocols

Security measures such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and secure credentials are critical to cybersecurity. Assist children in maintaining online safety by guiding them to employ unique, complex passwords and, whenever possible, to enable 2FA. In the event that an assailant obtains the password, bypassing the second stratum of security, which generally consists of a code transmitted to a mobile device, will remain impossible.

3. Frequently update your software and create backups of your data.

An uncomplicated and effective approach to protecting devices from cyber threats is to ensure they are regularly updated. In order to obtain unauthorised access to confidential data, cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities present in obsolete software. With the ability to perform automatic updates and frequent enhancements, safeguarding sensitive data is simplified. Private information such as documents and images can be restored in the event of a cyberattack if children understand the importance of data backups.

4. Monitor Online Conduct by Implementing Parental Controls

Utilising parental controls is one of the most crucial methods for regulating children’s Internet usage. They facilitate the restriction of inappropriate resources and the elimination of harmful content for minors. You can obtain a clearer image of whether or not your child is engaging in risky or inappropriate online behaviour by utilising monitoring applications and tools. Ensuring a suitable degree of surveillance while concurrently safeguarding children’s privacy and fostering their confidence in adults is of utmost importance.

5. Encourage Introspection and Conscientious Technology Utilisation

When interacting with the digital domain, the application of critical thinking skills becomes vital. A crucial duty is to instil in young minds the understanding that they must verify and scrutinise information prior to placing undue reliance on it. By instilling in children the ability to scrutinise the legitimacy of requests for personal information or financial transactions, it is possible to avert a multitude of cybercrimes.

Ensuring the safety of children from cyberbullying and exploitation can be accomplished by providing them with guidance on how to modify their privacy settings and instructing them on how to behave responsibly when using social media.

Conclusion

The safety of our children during their online activities is increasingly challenging in light of¬†technological advancements. To ensure children’s online safety, it is most effective to guide them in critical thinking, the implementation of robust security measures, regular software updates, parental controls, and cybersecurity knowledge. While ensuring the safety of our children is our foremost concern, we are equally committed to equipping them with the necessary resources to utilise the internet in a secure and comfortable manner.

Johan Steyn is a Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence advocate and thought leader. He was recognised by Swiss Cognitive as one of the top 50 global voices on AI. He was a finalist for the 2022 IT Personality of the Year Award. Find him on AIforBusiness.net