With a huge move to home schooling following the policies introduced during the third national lockdown, many parents find themselves with the task of homeschooling their children. Often they are using the family computer and laptop equipment they have at home. This can pose a number of challenges, not least because of the workload, but also due to the cybersecurity risks present. So what steps can you take to help ensure that children are staying safe whilst they are online?
It can be difficult enough for adults to spot cyber vulnerabilities and hacking attempts, but for young children who often have limited experience with technology, it can be even more difficult. This is why it is important to make your kids aware of the dangers facing the world, particularly when they are spending more time accessing multiple platforms through your home computer. Here are a few tips to help your children stay safe whilst they are working from home through school closures.
- Have an open and honest conversation with your children about why it is important to stay safe online. The earlier you have these conversations the better. Encourage them to come to you if anything doesn’t feel right, or if they have any questions. The “stranger danger” conversation is always important, but even more so when dangerous people could be hidden behind a computer screen.
- Resources such as games and videos can be used to teach children about the importance of staying safe online.
- Set clear boundaries so that time spent on the computer is scheduled. This will help avoid the accidental or mindless surfing of potentially dangerous websites.
- Remind your children never to give out any personal information such as their address or telephone numbers, especially if they are using online bulletin boards or chatrooms. Remind your children what their digital footprint is.
- Make sure you remember to regularly update the software on your computer to patch up any security bugs or online threats.
- Monitor online activity, and you can also explore various parental controls on the device your child is using.
- You can take this online quiz with your child to test how safe your child is online.
- Keep any files that may relate to the grown up’s work documents safe by creating a new user on the computer. Here is a useful guide to creating a child’s account to your computer.
Remember, honesty is always the best policy. Keep conversation about cybersecurity open and truthful, and harbour an atmosphere where children can ask questions and can come to you if anything is wrong.
If you have any further questions about cybersecurity, get in touch with the Kerbury team today!