My kids have known how to use a tablet and my smart phone pretty much since they were walking. They know how to take pictures, and get to their favorite videos on YouTube. Sometimes they even FaceTime call some unsuspecting family and friends.
My son has been interested in using the computer more and more recently. Last week at the library, I taught him how to use a mouse and play ABC Mouse games on the computer. He clicked around and somehow got on the internet. That’s when the reality of my kids growing up in this online world started to hit me.
I received this great information about teaching kids about cybersecurity from Panda Security. They have written a really informative guide on how to teach your kids about cybersecurity with lots of tips and tricks, which I’m sharing below. I hope you enjoy this important and informative post!
Teaching kids at an early age about cybersecurity and how the internet works is a step towards keeping them safe as they learn about technology and potential careers in STEM. The Girl Scouts recently implemented a series of badges to educate young girls on technology, while organizations such as Girls Who Code help girls establish professional tech networks in their teens. These programs can help bridge the gap and prepare girls for a career in cybersecurity.
As you can see there are established cybersecurity programs from many youth organizations, which are great to look into. In addition, here are a variety of at home activities and lessons to share with your kids to teach them how they can stay safe online.
Find Out What Malware and Scams Are
As kids consume online media and download files, they should be aware of the different sources of malicious software that can infect their devices. A fun and simple word and definition paring worksheet can help kids understand different types of tech threats and identify tech problems early.
You can download printable activity here.
Kids also need to be aware of malicious emails coming from someone pretending to be a brand, company, or someone they know. To teach kids about who they can trust online, discuss with them the warning signs of a suspicious online message:
- You don’t know the sender name
- It doesn’t address your kid by name and instead uses a vague introduction
- It’s offering something that’s too good to be true
- There are grammatical errors
- It’s asking for personal information like your full name, phone number or address
- There is a suspicious link in the email
Think About The Information They Share
It’s important for kids to understand the information they share, especially if they are talking to strangers. Online strangers are often hackers who pose to be someone else, many of them using their skills to steal information from someone and use it against them. To help kids understand, have them analyze their social media through the lens of a hacker to find out what personal information they have available online.
You can download printable activity here.
Create Secure, Memorable Passwords
Creating secure passwords is one of the most important aspects of the Internet. As our kids spend more time on social media and online applications, passwords help keep their information safe and private. Teaching your kids to create passwords with a combination of letters, numbers and symbols will prepare them when they acquire their first mobile device.
Here’s a fun, short activity to help kids build their passwords.
Explore more simple cybersecurity lessons for kids and prepare your kids for opportunities in the tech industry!
I really needed these cybersecurity lessons (for both myself and my kids). Everyday I hear new reports on the news about accounts being hacked and it’s important for us to take our own cybersecurity seriously as well as start teaching our kids to protect themselves as soon as they have an online presence.
I really appreciated the tips and activities Panda Security provided and I plan to implement many of them myself.
Have you started a conversation around cybersecurity with your kids yet? Is it something you will start to implement with your family?