Cybersecurity Tips For Parents

“Don’t advertise me!” goes my 13-year-old daughter as a tiny thought crosses my mind about celebrating her accomplishments on social media. Even as most teenagers and adults are bitten by the social media bug, and we are itching to celebrate our accomplishments right away, there are a few in my house who are absolute and total social media outcasts! I can say for sure that both of my children know where to share, what to share and with whom to share (though it is easy to get tempted, like I do occasionally!) How did I manage this? Read on to know more:

It is always said that “security is a frame of mind” – which means that you have to constantly think that way for it to slowly get inbuilt into your system. I have been writing about Information security ever since my children were small and so, they know the do’s and don’ts of cybersecurity. It’s been easy for me as I am in this field, so it’s not been very difficult to adopt in my everyday routine.

For all of you who are in an entirely different profession and would like your children to adopt safe practices – here are a few tips and suggestions for you and your child:

  1. First, as parents, it is good to familiarise yourself with basic cybersecurity etiquette. It is also good to believe it! What does basic cybersecurity etiquette involve? It’s not anything too technical, just the basic cybersecurity fundamentals to keep you and your child safe – don’t overshare on social media; do not put your pictures freely and frequently online; do not share your passwords and more.
  2. Remember the slogan “Monkey see, monkey do”? Well, most children imbibe their parents’ online behavior. If you are spending considerable time online sharing personal pictures, information or anything else, there is a good possibility that your child will definitely imbibe the same seeing you (whether it is good or bad is entirely up to you). So, if you would like your children to spend less time online, it would be a good idea to cut down on your online time as well.
  3. In my experience, children understand and follow things that you do around them better than anything that is told to them explicitly. So, if you set a passcode for your smartphone, they will follow that practice for their own phone too. If you use two-factor authentication for any of your accounts, they will follow it too (and, I can guarantee that they will understand two-factor authentication without you telling them about it).
  4. Last but not the least, it is good to have the “social media talk” with your children. Children most often do not understand what is good and bad in social media (we as adults are often stumped at times and are unable to differentiate between the good and bad on social media, so it is quite unfair to expect them to understand it) and it is important to help them navigate the web.

The communication between children and parents on their social media choices should be open. Children should be able to tell their parents which social media platforms they are already on and which they are planning to get into. This practice is definitely needed for new teenagers and pre-teens when they are at their social media high!

While I do not believe in strictly controlling children and their social media habits, it is knowledge, wisdom, and effective communication that will help them make them be balanced social media netizens.

These are just some suggestions to keep your child safe online. I hope these tips and suggestions are going to help you and your child navigate the wacky web!

Have a safe and wonderful day!

Jayanthi Manikandan
Jayanthi Manikandan

Jayanthi Manikandan is a passionate Information security professional, mother, wife and daughter. She has been blogging about Information security since 2012 and has a Masters degree in Information security from USA. In addition, she also drops a few personal thoughts on anything that catches her eye on her blogs!


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1 thought on “Cybersecurity Tips For Parents”

  1. Very common but overlooked part of our life. Very well highlighted. Now I understand why my children are not crazy social media fans, because both of us are not.

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