When we think of cybersecurity threats, we think mostly of large organizations or infrastructures. But some of the greatest threats often go unnoticed – the threats posed to our children from the cyber world – that place they enter into every time they use a computer or cell phone. Most children and teens spend significant amounts of time using electronic devices to communicate with friends and attend online classes or learning in some format. When our educational system was turned upside down in 2020, even kids who weren’t so tech-savvy transitioned into online school. With kids spending so much more time online these days, it is wise to establish some safeguards, including talking with your kids about their online activity. We know the internet has its advantages, but there is always a risk of stumbling upon (or worse yet, being lured into) something inappropriate, security being compromised, or bullying, among other things.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has published a great booklet that can help guide you through conversations with kids of all ages about topics like socializing online, protecting their privacy, cyberbullying, cell phone usage, scams, security, and personal safety. It’s no secret that the cyber world poses dangerous threats to our children. Now is a great time to make sure the lines of communication are open between you and your kids and they are safe, no matter what they’re doing online. You can access the CISA booklet from the cisa.gov website.