The Internet can be excellent for kids. They can use it to attend online classes, research work and school reports, communicate with teachers and other kids, family, and friends, and play interactive games.
But online access also comes with risks, like inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and online criminals and predators. For example, some sites offer prizes to lure children by giving their email addresses and personal information of themselves and family members online. Using social media apps and websites where kids interact, criminals may pose as a child or teens looking to make a new friend. They might prod the child to exchange personal information, such as address and phone number, or encourage kids to call them, seeing their phone number via caller ID. Terrorist-themed video games are also widespread these days to disturb the mind of young children.
The Parents must be aware of what their kids see and hear online, who they meet, and what they share about themselves. Please talk with your kids, use tools to protect them, and keep an eye on their activities.
Some introductory security lessons for Parents and Children
Use Parent-Control Options
Online tools let you control your kids’ access to adult material and help protect them from Internet predators. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) provide parent-control options. You can also get software that helps block access to sites and restricts personal information from being sent online. Other programs can monitor and track online activity.
Help your child understand the Impact of Sharing Password
Learn that sharing your password gives others control of your digital footprint. Consider what can happen when someone logs in as you. Understand how someone else’s actions can affect your digital footprint and you!
What happens when you share your password?
Think about a password you’ve created for some app or device you use. Maybe it was a password to unlock your phone or to log into your favorite game or video app. Have you ever shared a password with someone else? Ok, a lot of us have. But there’s an important reason why you really should not share your passwords.
You have something called a digital footprint. A digital footprint represents you online. It’s what all the things you leave online—likes, comments, your screen name, photos, messages, recordings, etc. add up to and give other people an idea of what you’re like. It affects your reputation and how people think of you. They make guesses, or assumptions, about you based on that footprint you leave. So that’s one thing essential to be aware of when you’re online.
Another thing crucial to know is that when you share your password, you are giving someone else control of your digital footprint—you’re allowing them to help create it and shape how other people think of you. Yikes, right?! Since it’s your footprint, everybody believes you’re the one making it. So if someone with your password does something you don’t like, people will think that was you doing it! That’s why it’s super important not to share your passwords.
For example, let’s say you share your password with a friend on a social media account. While logged in as you, your friend sends a message to someone in your class like, “Can you send me your homework answers?” The next day in class, the student goes to the teacher and says you were trying to cheat on your homework by asking for answers. Then they show your teacher the message your friend sent from your account. Who do you think your teacher will believe? How does this affect your reputation? What else might happen?
Brainstorm with the class possible outcomes. Examples: Teacher calls home. You lose points on an assignment. Your digital footprint shows that you tried to cheat in school. You get into a ﬁght with your friend who sent the message.
Remember, your digital footprint represents you online. So any time you share your password with someone, you give that person control of your digital footprint, which can impact how people see you on the Internet and everywhere else. Let’s explore this idea together.
Help your child to build a strong password.
- Use a different password for each of your important accounts. Use at least eight characters.
- The longer, the better (as long as you remember it!).
- Use combinations of letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and symbols. Make your passwords memorable, so you don’t need to write them down, which would be risky.
- Immediately change your password if you think someone else knows it (besides a parent or guardian).
- Change your passwords now and then.
- Always use strong screen locks on your devices. Set your devices to lock automatically if they end up in the wrong hands.
- Consider using a password manager, such as one built into your browser, to remember your passwords. This way, you can use a unique password for each account and not have to remember them all.
- Help your child to build a strong password.
- Donʼt uses personal information (name, address, email, phone number, aadhar number, mother maiden name, birth dates, or even a pet’s name, etc.) In your password.
- Donʼt uses a password that is easy to guess, like your nickname, chocolate, just the name of your school, favorite sports team, a string of numbers (like 123456), etc. And deﬁnitely don’t use the word ‘password”!
- Donʼt shares your password with anyone other than your parent or guardian. Never write passwords down where someone can ﬁnd them.