How to Ensure Data Security Online for Your Child in 2024
As technology develops and becomes more complex, parental vigilance needs to extend beyond basic content restrictions. From safeguarding your child’s privacy through VPN servers to teaching them about deepfakes, below are the essential elements needed for the security of children’s data in 2024.
Vigilance by parents to continually educate themselves is paramount because cyber criminals, hackers and online predators are also becoming more savvy.
Use Reputable Security Features
Incorporating reputable security features on devices is the first step to safeguarding digital data to the highest degree.
Here are ways you can protect your family while online:
Get VPN Secure
When it comes to keeping your child’s data safe and secure, parental controls may be the first thing to come to your mind. Restricting certain content is necessary, but many other key security features can better protect your child’s data and online realm. Ensuring your child’s privacy online is crucial, and tools such as VPN for Chrome from reputable brands like ExpressVPN can guarantee anonymity to the highest degree.
A VPN completely masks your home IP address, making it impossible for anyone to figure out where your little online explorer is clicking from. Ultimately, a VPN is one of the best features you can get to ensure that no one will track your child’s data. Technically savvy predators will also be prevented to know where you live.
Enable Authentication Security Measures
Wherever it’s possible, use a two-factor and multi-factor authentication for your child’s accounts. By adding a second form of verification, such as one-time mobile phone codes, you’re doubling up on your data security measures.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Encryption
Ensure websites use SSL encryption (look for “https://” in the URL) to protect data during transmission. Website that are not secure will show a warning to the left of the URL. For example, in a chrome browser it will show a red x and red letters stating, “Not Secure”.
Privacy Settings on Social Media
Review and adjust privacy settings on social media platforms and apps to control who can see your personal information.
Regular Software Updates
Keep operating systems for Windows and Mac up to date. This happens in the background, as long as you have automatic updates turned on. Updates are vital to ensure applications are up to date to patch vulnerabilities.
Within your operating system look for a firewall setting. Turn it on to monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic. This provides an additional layer of defense.
Regular Software Updates
Make sure any software programs you are running are kept up to date. As with your operating system security, turn on automatic updates so you can rest assured you have the latest version to fix vulnerabilities.
Be cautious with email attachments and links. Avoid opening attachments or clicking on links from unknown or suspicious sources. Use strong passwords to protect email accounts from being hacked and used to send out scams or spyware.
Model Healthy Digital Behavior
According to the BBC, 43% of 7,000 parents surveyed across the UK and Europe were concerned about their child’s gadget use. And perhaps not so interestingly, many parents believed they set a bad example themselves due to their heavy gadget use.
Apple has certainly taken heed of the research in recent years, as proven by their efforts during Safer Internet Day in 2023 – they spotlighted tools and resources to protect children online.
To ensure effective data security online for our children, it’s important to practice what’s preached. Here’s how:
Safe Browsing Habits
Model how to look for secure websites and how to avoid clicking on suspicious links. Show children how you exercise caution when downloading files and installing new apps. Use safe search features on any browser your child frequents.
Educate your child on the concept of a digital footprint and how any online action leaves an irreversible trace. Encourage your child to be more mindful of what they share and post and how such actions can contribute to a positive digital reputation.
Good Cyber Hygiene
Be sure to log out of your accounts when they’re not in use, and encourage your child to do the same to ensure online safety. Avoid public computers for data-sensitive tasks at all costs.
Talk About Deepfakes
Explain how sometimes deepfake technology can be used to deceive people, discussing potential consequences. A deepfake is when the face of a real person, such as a celebrity, is placed over someone else’s face to make a fake video. It will give a video great credibility and deceive unsuspecting viewers to click on a link.
This discussion will open up an a much broad conversation about how to use critical thinking and healthy skepticism to debunk information online, no matter what form it is presented, including photoshopped images and unrealistic stunts or antics in videos.
Protecting Your Child Online
By leveraging these security features and modeling behaviors to your advantage, you’ll safeguard your child’s data and stay abreast of any trends and potential challenges in the digital landscape. From here, you’ll be creating a secure and supportive space where your child can learn, connect, grow, and explore online with you by their side.