In the time of pandemic children are dependent on online classes for their education but was it like that before too? Not the classes but the dependence of kids on their computers, phones, tablets, laptops and internet? We all know that the answer is yes. With the advancement in technology came a new wave of change. Children and their dependency on the internet is a concerning topic for every parent. Some of the parents actually don’t know what their kids are doing all day on their computers. Concerning, isn’t it?
Many of you don’t know but a lot of kids, especially teenagers have become the victims of cybercrime. Because of the availability of internet many teenagers have a social media profile and more than half of them are posting details of each and every activity, which may look cool (to them) but is very dangerous. Kids can be easily manipulated because they trust almost everyone very easily. So it is the duty of parents to look out for their kids. Parents should know what their kid is going through and how to keep them away from the impacts of cyber attacks. In this article we will discuss all about that.
Common cyber threats faced by children:
Out of all the age group of people the most vulnerable are children. You can easily get their attention, manipulate or lure them into scams and even before they realise it scammers’ work is done. So here are some of the cyber threats parents should look for:
- Cyberbullying: There used to be days when bullies would meet you face to face and do what they are best at, bullying! But now you don’t have to go out for meting any bully, all thanks to the internet. Cyberbullying via internet is prevalent in today’s world and affects children as much as any form of bullying and one of the most challenging threats to deal with. Creating social media profiles at a very young age is one of the reasons of cyber bullying. You don’t have to stop them once they are older and smarter.
- Online scams: If you are thinking only adults are on the target list of scammers then you are wrong. Even children are vulnerable to scams. Scamming children is relatively easy. Advertisements offering anything on a very cheap price or sometimes for free, claiming that they have won a lottery or any prize and asking for personal information in return. When adults can fall for such scams what can we expect from kids?
- Chat room friends: Finding children is easier nowadays as attackers can enter chat rooms or find their accounts on social media. Once the attacker has found its target, he/she will try to befriend them, pretend to be of the same age and meet up at some point. Making fake social media account isn’t rocket science. Anyone can make it and use it for scamming others.
How to prevent kids from cybercrimes?
Here are some tips you can use for keeping your kids safe online:
- Increase awareness: Basic understanding of PC security as well as cyberthreats (cyber bullying, scamming etc.) is really important. It is the work of parents to tell their kids about it and make sure that their kid understood that.
- Protecting your PC: It is quite common that kids mistakenly click on ads and download malware on the system. What you can do is protect your system by updating it on regular basis or whenever the update is available. It will protect you and your family against scammers and other cyberthreats. It is important to secure your system to get financial security and to keep all your important information safe.
- Protecting your kid’s identity: Protect your kid’s identity by explaining them to not give their personal details like full name, address, phone number or anything else to anyone. Do not share anything important with unknown people on social media platforms like Facebook, twitter, Whatsapp and email. Tell them about the harms of sharing information with strangers or sending any pictures on chat rooms.
- Prevent cyber bullying: As mentioned before, bullying is prevalent in today’s world and affecting children a lot. It can happen anytime and anywhere. Tell them about the wrongs of cyber bullying how saying or posting anything mean about others can affect them and how immoral it is. Also make sure that if your kid ever faces any situation like that then they can tell you about it without hesitation. Be their friend and make sure they always tell you the truth.
- Creating unique passwords: If your kid is using same password for every social media account then stop them right there. Using same password for every account is n open invitation for hackers to access your accounts and get all your personal information. Tell them to have different passwords for every account. They should not use any names but go for upper and lowercase letters, number as well as special characters.