Cybersecurity has always been a challenge over the years says Surajit Khanna. Studies have shown that kids are now spending an average of 2 hours daily on the internet. From watching movies to streaming their favorite music, to pass time on social media, there is no limit to how one can be connected to the internet. The coronavirus pandemic has also contributed to the number of times spend online. Many are stuck at home and the children are left with no choice but to learn and communicate with loved ones online. However, let’s not forget kids can be targets of cybercriminals and might not fall victim to security issues. Therefore cybersecurity is important to protect our kids.
Surajit Khanna says “when children are left unsupervised or unprotected while assessing the internet, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. One is they can be exposed to content that is only meant for adults. The internet is also full of criminals who can send malicious links, viruses, and many more and take advantage of young children by stealing their money or important information. Sometimes, abusers can play on their innocence for sexual grooming. How can kids and teens be protected?
The cybersecurity guide provided by Surajit Khanna will help parents and caregivers understand how to protect their children and avoid pitfalls of being connected.
1. Be Honest while Communicating about Cybersecurity with Kids
Cybersecurity is very important and having a conversation about it with your kids requires honesty Surajit Khanna says. Do not try to avoid any question because you don’t feel comfortable with it. Answer all their questions and tell them the good things about online activities and which one to avoid. Emphasize on cautiousness while enjoying the internet world.
2. Make Security a Topmost Priority
Using security such as passwords or biometric recognition is one of the simplest ways you can ensure your child is assessing the internet with your supervision. Let them know they have to be careful of the websites they visit or links they click on. Consider using network monitoring tools to detect and prevent visiting dangerous websites. Another way to ensure cybersecurity is to invest in software that can allow you to choose what kind of apps your child can use or downloads.
3. Monitor their Activities on Social Media
Kids might want to be on social media to connect with friends and families, however, it can invite dangers if not used appropriately. Whether its Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or youtube, it is better to have a first-hand experience of what is going on around there as parents. Talk to your kids about who they can befriend, communities that are safe to join, and who they can follow.
“We live in a world where online popularity is the new craze. Kids might have unrealistic expectations of how they should look considering the type of people they are following online and this might lead to low self-esteem. Besides, they can be more exposed to cyberbullying when they spend too much of their time on social media”. “It is safer to have access to your child’s account online in order to monitor their activities, contents they are posting and who they are chatting with. Let them the type of content they can share online and who can view their posts” Surajit Khanna advises.
The act of bullying through electronic devices has become rampant especially among teenagers as the digital world is expanding and technologies are more advanced. It often happens through text messages, sexual remarks, threats, and harassing comments on social media sites. This can lead to depression and low self-esteem for kids. Children should notify their parents when they come across an inappropriate comment online. Therefore, parents should spread more awareness about cyberbullying and discuss its implication with their kids.
5. Do not give Personal Information to Strangers Online
Research as shown that 40% of teenagers have exposed their personal information through the internet. According to Surajit Khanna, keeping your personal information away from stranger saves you from a lot of criminal activities. Hence, it is important to take precautions. Parents should advise their kids not to share their personal information with anyone that they have not to meet in real life. Let them private personal information on all your social media account.
Protect the children in real-time is a better step than resolving it at a later stage. So the cybersecurity concerns related to kids are going to be a very important factor in this Covid-19 Pandemic.