As our dependence on the Internet has grown, so have the cybersecurity risks that come along with such dependence. California businesses, government institutions, schools, and, of course, people, all depend on the Internet as a resource for information and an avenue of communication. It’s so omnipresent in our everyday lives at this point that children have grown accustomed to using it at a very early age.
To help raise awareness on how to avoid online security risks, October was designated as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, making this a good time to talk to your children about safe online practices.
General Cybersecurity Tips
The following are a few tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of a cyber attack (which can lead to the theft of personal data and more):
- Download software updates as soon as they are available. These updates often provide security patches that address security vulnerabilities found in the software.
- Do not open emails or attachments that are unsolicited from addresses you do not recognize.
- If you receive an unsolicited email or text asking for any personal information, be very wary. There’s a good chance it’s a scam.
- If you’re buying something online, make sure the website is legitimate. It should have an “HTTPS” address instead of an “HTTP” address.
- Don’t use the same password for everything and be sure to update your passwords routinely. Use a two-factor authentication process when possible.
Teaching Your Children How to Safely Use the Internet
Children use the Internet for everything from schoolwork to gaming to communicating with their friends. As such, it’s important that you sit down with your children and speak to them about online safety. The following are a few tips for doing so:
- Make sure that your kids use strong passwords.
- Make sure they understand how important it is to download updates.
- Set limits and boundaries concerning the sites that they go to.
- Warn them about opening anything that they don’t recognize.
- Teach them that nothing they post online is anonymous.
- Ask them to let you know if they are cyberbullied at any time.