If you are a parent to young kids or teenagers, then at one point or another you have worried about their online safety. Whether it’s cyber bullying, safe content viewing, or scammers, there are many things that parents need to consider when kids are surfing the web.
Tuesday, February 9th is Safer Internet Day, which is a day dedicated to promoting safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile device, specifically aimed at kids and teenagers. The advancements of technology, paired with the upswing in social media, has created an environment where kids may be at risk if they simply visit the wrong website.
One area of online safety that we often discuss is keeping your child’s information safe on the internet, so that it does not end up in the wrong hands. Scammers and fraudsters are always looking for unsuspecting victims to steal personal information from and use it fraudulently. In honor of Safer Internet Day, here are some ways parents and families can help ensure everyone’s personal information stays safe.
Have an Open Discussion with Your Kids
One of the best things you can do for your kids is to have an open discussion with them about online scammers and why it is so important to guard their personal information. For the most part, kids may not be aware that it only takes one click on a link to download malware onto your computer or that it only takes giving out a little information for someone to use it fraudulently. Explaining to your kids the impact that these actions can have will help them understand why they should be on the lookout. Scammers can come in various forms, but some things that kids should be on the lookout for would be:
- An online stranger asking for monetary help
- Unfamiliar websites that are encouraging them to click or download
- Friends unexpectedly asking for money over an app
- A stranger or friend asking for login credentials to an app
- Netflix, Amazon, and other seemingly legitimate messages asking for payment updates
By having an open discussion with your kids and explaining what to look out for, your kids will be better prepared as they enter into the online world.
Limit Sharing Important Information
Because scammers are looking for personal information, many parents will make a rule against sharing any personal information over the internet, whether it is their own personal information or a family member. Personal information that should never be given out would include:
- Full name
- Email address
- Phone number
- Social security
- Debit or credit cards
Explain to your kids that if this information gets into the wrong hands, scammers can use it fraudulently, which is why they need to take precautions.
Limit Which Websites Kids Can Access
Additionally, many parents will limit which social media and online forums kids are allowed to visit and post on. Many kids will freely post on social media and forum style websites without any regard to who could be looking at their information. Kids can also overshare information, which will allow scammers to garner personal information. By limiting which websites they are allowed to use, and making sure there is adequate security and safety features (such as not making a post public), kids can post what they wish with a little more ease.
Some parents use special software to ensure that their children (especially young kiddos) cannot access specific websites. There are many options out there for website filtering software. Do some homework and find the right solution for your need.
Put Antivirus on Your Child’s Computer
As we mentioned earlier, all it takes is one wrong click and your child could unintentionally download malware onto your computer. When malware is installed, hackers can garner a lot of personal information left on that computer. By installing antivirus software onto your computer, you will be adding an extra layer of security so that your information will be safe.
Here at Blackhawk Bank, we want to help families safely surf the internet, so that information is protected and secured. Are you ready to learn more about what Blackhawk Bank can do for you? Contact us today!