Cyber Security – Explained For a 12-Year-Old

Cyber Security is a lot like fire safety. You know you should wear a fire prevention outfit when you’re near the fire, but you can still get burned if you don’t take care of yourself and do not use the right methods.

It is not just that kids are being born into a world where they have to learn to use technology. They are also being born into a world where they have never known life without it.

The internet has become present in every aspect of our society, from education, to work, to entertainment. It has brought us many wonderful things – countless hours of entertainment, educational resources, and job opportunities.

But at the same time it has also given rise to the darker side of the internet – cyber-criminals, hackers, trolling, and abuse – which can all impact children in different ways.

The world is getting more and more connected, and we need to be careful about what we do online. Cyber Security has changed a lot in the past 10 years. And, we must understand how it works so that we can keep ourselves safe from cyber threats.

Today’s world relies so heavily on technology that sometimes it’s easy to forget the importance of keeping computers and other devices secure. Cyber Security is an important topic that has been in the headlines for months now. For many children and even adults, it’s hard to understand what Cyber security even means and why it’s such a big deal.

In this article, we will understand the basics of Cyber Security and how it can affect your life; so you can make informed decisions about your privacy!

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is the protection of your computers, system, or networks from cyber attacks. It is the act of defending against any form of malicious activity that threatens to disrupt the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.

There are many types of cyber threats. Sometimes these threats are called hacks, breaches, or attacks. If you are new to the term, then you should know that these are any incidents that involve the misuse of digital technology to disrupt or damage something.

How many times do we hear about stories like this?

It was reported last month that passwords and personal information for more than 150 million Facebook accounts were stolen by hackers. These hackers used a piece of malware to access the accounts’ security settings and steal data including birthdays, hometowns, and recent searches.

How to protect yourself and your children from cyber threats?

A lot of children are prone to cyberbully, identity theft, and other dangers. Also, with technology being so prevalent in our society, it is necessary to teach our children how to be safe online.

Children are at a higher risk for cyberbullying, hacking, identity theft, and other dangers on the internet. With new technologies coming out every day it is difficult to keep up with all the risks that come with them. To make sure all children can stay safe online we need to teach them how they can protect themselves.

Install antivirus software on your device: 

The best way to protect your device is by installing antivirus software. There are a plethora of good antivirus programs out there that can identify and remove any malicious programs that may have been downloaded onto your system.

Protect yourself against scams: 

With all these scams going around, it’s important to know how to protect yourself against them. You can’t always be wary, but you can always check if the URL starts with HTTPS:// — this means that you’re accessing a secure website instead of an unsecured one.

Secure their devices:

If you and your children share a computer in the house, you must keep your system up to date with the most recent upgrades. This improves the security of your device, shielding your personal and financial information from potential cyber threats.

Talk about privacy:

The allure of internet games and social media often draws children in. Remind them not to disclose any personally identifiable information or financial information with online applications or services, and teach them how to distinguish between safe and harmful programs.

Popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok require users to be at least 13 years old to sign up, although many underage users do so. Discuss with your children the consequences of revealing sensitive information on social media and the dangers of engaging with strangers online. Use parental controls on your child’s device to monitor their online behavior.

Restrict access from public networks:

Most cyberattacks are now coming from public Wi-Fi networks. The allure of free WiFi in public areas may pique the interest of data-restricted children.

Potential attackers, on the other hand, can steal data exchanged through insecure networks. A public Wi-Fi can be a gateway for cybercriminals to gain access to the users’ personal data, which might include password information, credit card numbers, and so on. Most cyberattacks are now coming from public Wi-Fi networks.

Instruct your children to never access sensitive material or to avoid connecting to such networks entirely and restrict the use of public Wi-Fi for their children. You can do this by using parental control software that blocks these dangerous networks. This will protect the children from potential threats and will also stop them from accessing content they are not allowed to see.

Are you a parent?

Here are quick tips:

Cyber threats are one of the most common ways for children and even adults to be victims of cyberbullying and data theft. Before giving your children access to the Internet, sit down with them and go over some of these safety rules and guidelines – 

  • Make sure you update your passwords frequently for all your accounts online
  • Personal information should never be given out without parental permission – including sharing the last name, home address, school name, telephone number, or credit card number.
  • Passwords are meant to be kept private. No one should ever need to know your password.
  • Assume that anything that gets posted on a social media site will remain on the Internet forever. Hence, talk to your kids about what is appropriate to share and whatnot.
  • Never meet strangers from the Internet in person.

People who deal with cyber safety regularly recommend taking the following steps to keep children safe:

  • Educate them to not click on links in texts or emails from unknown sources.
  • Update your software and operating system regularly.
  • Enable two-factor authentication if possible.
  • Be wary of using public WiFi networks that might not be secure.

Cybersecurity is at the core of everything nowadays. We are all targeted by cybercriminals and it’s very hard to protect ourselves. With this in mind, you need to step up the game and educate yourself and your child about cybersecurity and privacy.

Children need to be more aware of the dangers they face on the internet. The earlier you can educate them about these dangers, the better.

Read More about Types of Cyber Security Threats – Children Edition

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