Educating and Protecting Your Children From Cyber Risks

Carolyn Konecki, CPRM, Private Client Manager
Families rely on technology to simplify their lives and keep them connected. The use of multiple devices and smart home systems means more and more individuals have access to their personal data. Cyber crime and the breach of this confidential information poses the greatest risk to your family’s financial data and assets.

While corporate attacks get the most media attention, successful individuals and families need to be vigilant about cyber security. Many parents practice good cyber hygiene but forget to educate and protect their children against cyber threats and the children can inadvertently put the entire household at risk.

Children are more trusting than adults. They can unintentionally engage with cyber thieves in gaming situations, or bypass security to view sites their parents don’t want them to see. Many children are far ahead of their parents’ ability to keep them from making mischief online – in fact many of them are the family’s tech support.  Here are some tips:

  • Never talk to strangers, even online. Some people you meet online may not be who they say they are.
  • Avoid accessing public WiFi networks. Even those that require a password are not secure. Similarly, be cautious of WiFi spoofing on your home network.
  • Whether playing a game or using social media, never share any personally identifiable information. Use a nickname rather than your real name. Set your profile to private so that only your friends can see it. Avoid sharing information such as your full name, address, mobile number, school and photos.
  • Never give out your password.
  • Be cautious when clicking. To avoid the possibility of inadvertently installing malware, be cautious of the links you click on when using social media.
  • Don’t access offers that sound too good to be true.
  • Don’t commit or tolerate cyber bullying.
  • Use caution when downloading files.