How to Teach Kids About Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is a growing topic of conversation, and one of the most important things parents can do is start talking about cybersecurity with their kids. There are so many things that go into it—from how to communicate with your kids about it to the best ways to teach them about the basics of cybersecurity and overall risk management.
We’ve put together this handy guide to help you talk to your kids about cybersecurity.
These tips will help you start teaching cybersecurity to kids easily and effectively.
So, What Is Cybersecurity?
Simply put, this is a term that refers to computer security or protecting computers and other devices from being hacked. It includes things like installing antivirus software on your computer, changing your passwords regularly, and making sure all of your software is up-to-date. In most cases, it is a part of a company’s risk management plan a lot can be learned from this for families and schools like.
Cybersecurity is very important because it keeps our personal information safe. If someone gets hold of your information and uses it against you or steals from you, then they can really ruin your life! They can also use it for illegal purposes like identity theft or tax fraud.
When talking to kids about such a tricky subject, include examples like:
- Don’t click links in emails from people you don’t know
- Always log out of websites when you’re done using them
- Set up two-factor authentication on all accounts where possible
By teaching your kids about online safety and showing them how to protect themselves on the internet, you can help prevent them from falling victim to identity theft, online fraud, and other dangerous situations.
5 Guidelines for Talking to Kids About Cybersecurity
Whether your kids are old enough to use the internet or not, it’s important to teach them. The sooner the better! Here are 5 essential tips for teaching cybersecurity to kids.
1. Teach Your Children Why They Need to be Safe and Responsible While Using the Internet
It’s not enough just to tell your kids that they should be safe online—they need to understand why they should be safe and how they can stay safe.
You can even create a small poster with some key points that you can hang in their room or on their desk so that it’s always in front of them when they are working on their computer or smartphone.
2. Create a Cybersecurity Club at School or at Home
Such clubs are great ways for kids to learn about cybersecurity, practice what they’ve learned, and make new friends who share similar interests.
Encourage your child to join a club where other kids will be talking about cyber threats and learning more about it together. This will help them learn from other people who are also interested in this topic, as well as from each other.
3. Make It Interactive and Hands-On
One of the best ways to teach anything is by making it as interactive and hands-on as possible. When you make an activity fun and exciting, kids are more likely to want to learn more about it—and they’ll remember what they learned much better than if they simply sat in front of a screen and listened passively.
Therefore, try making cybersecurity hands-on by having your child create their own code or by having them write down what they think should be done differently on an app or website. When you make learning interactive like this, it helps build skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity that will serve your child throughout their life.
4. Show Them Examples of What to Do in Real-life
When talking about exact threats like spam emails or phishing scams, show your kids examples of real-life attacks so they understand what happens when someone tries something like this on them.
And be sure to explain to them how they should respond. This way, they will be able to see what happens when people don’t take proper precautions when using the internet.
5. Make It Fun and Lighthearted
Security is a serious issue, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Instead, try making cybersecurity a lighthearted activity. One of the best ways to teach kids about cyber safety is through play. For example, try taking them on a scavenger hunt through the house or neighborhood to find hidden “hacker” signs.
Account Security Explained (Video)
We hope you found these tips helpful, and that you’ll use them to talk to your kids about cybersecurity. If you’re still not confident starting the conversation with your kids, here are some best practices:
- Explain to kids that the Internet is amazing but there are some risks.
- Encourage your kids to tell you if they come across something inappropriate online.
- Use the correct terminology.
- Identify the red flags in cyber bullying and explain what to do in a cyberbullying situation.
- Explain to your child why they shouldn’t share their personal information with strangers online.
- Don’t assume that your kids already know about this topic — start from square one whenever possible.
Kids are growing up in a digital world and will be exposed to cybercrime as soon as they turn on their first computer. It’s up to us as parents to teach them about all threats in an age-appropriate way so they can navigate the internet safely and confidently.