There are many benefits of Cyber Safety awareness for Children and Parent’s today we will discuss 3 benefits for Children and 3 benefits for parents and shed some light on the importance of keeping our children safe online.
For children the three main benefits of cyber safety training online are: increased knowledge of the dangers of being online and how they need to be vigilant and what steps they can take in order to stay safe and how this applies not only online but offline as well; ethical training in that you don’t get something for nothing, everything useful requires hard work, so if you are offered “FREE music, videos, books, games, apps” this translates into Free viruses, malware, rootkits, worms, ransomware; understanding that they are accountable for their actions online as if they post anything questionable it could be used against them in the college admissions or hiring process.
For parent’s the three main benefits of cyber safety training online are: keeping your children safe from harm and teaching them how they can help protect themselves from danger; being able to teach children to challenge what they read online as a way to learn or reinforce critical thinking skills; a very direct and useful way to connect with you boys and girls and let them know that you as parent’s care, love them and are genuinely interested with what is going on in their lives-there is a huge gap between a 25-50 year old parent and a 10-17 year old child, spending time with them, teaching them, listening to them, asking questions, showing your concern and care for them is a great way to bridge that gap.
How can children learn to be vigilant online and what they need to stay safe? First you can start by explaining to them that they should generally not talk to stranger’s online. Explain that there are some folks that may wish them harm, and that they need to be mindful of who they talk too and what they say. Teach them early on what Phishing is and how it’s important not to give up too much information to strangers.
How can children learn that you don’t get something for nothing? Explain that it’s dishonest to steal but more importantly lead by example, let them know that you shouldn’t download “Stuff” for “FREE” as you will get Free malware and must reimage your computer and lose all information. Explain that the artists or people creating the software, music, books, videos, movies, games, have families too and that they need to make a living and that if we steal from them we are also stealing from their families.
Again, we should lead by example, if we are in IT we should not, especially if we are in the field of cybersecurity have pirated copies of windows or office lying around stashed away somewhere, this is not only against professional ethics, illegal, but also bad IT practice as “FREE” means Free trouble, problems, headaches. I don’t know about you, but I have enough issues that I am resolving daily, I don’t have time to be worrying about my own machines having malware installed by me. I am amazed when I hear that IT or Cyber Security Professionals are doing this. If you have children, you need to stop and think about being a good example to them. Ethics begins in the home.
Children should be taught that they are accountable for their actions online. What you say or do has consequences. If you post that picture or chat in High School that could hurt your chances of getting a job someday or of getting into your preferred college. People can use what you post online against you and it makes good common sense to have discretion about what you post online. You don’t want to have all your dirty laundry on Facebook. Remember Facebook, or twitter, is no substitute for a diary or a confession. They should be taught to keep it clean online and to not share too much information as hackers and aggressors can use this information to do them harm.
For parent’s keeping your children safe from harm and teaching them how they can help protect themselves from danger is a high priority. They should learn early on that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Prevention is the best approach to staying safe online. You should teach your son’s and daughter’s how to fish not how to eat salmon already served on a plate. These skills will be invaluable to them as adults. Children should learn that not everyone is honest online, and that there are people that specifically target children to harm them, and that they need to be careful in everything they do, weather online or offline.
Being able to teach children to challenge what they read online to learn or reinforce critical thinking skills. I had a high school teacher that would always repeat the Mantra, question not to deny but to understand. The Socratic Method used by attorneys to question, observer, make inferences is a skill that will serve them for a lifetime.
For example, when I was in college years ago, I saw a news article that some official wanted funding for hiring more public employees-they wanted to increase funding by 100 million dollars and wanted to hire 100K more employees. If you do the math that meant that a full time public sector employee was being hired, not one but 100K of them at a wage of $10K annually which is way below the federal minimum wage and several times less than the average salary for that type of role.
Going through the news online is a good way of teaching children to question, challenge, observe, make inferences, make judgements or hold in doubt, and learn how to think critically. The problem with higher education today is that folks graduate from even the most prestigious universities not learning critical thinking skills. As parent’s you can start teaching them how to think and analyze at home.
For parent’s a very direct and useful way to connect with your boys and girls and let them know that you as parent’s care for them, love them and are genuinely interested with what is going on in their lives is by spending time with them observing, questioning, advising them, on their online activities.
Studies have shown that the reason most children that get into gangs, drugs, violence, young pregnancy is because they do not feel loved, cared for and protected by their parent’s. Let’s face it, there is a huge gap between what you as a 40-year-old are thinking on a day to day basis and a 12-year-old child. Because your children are vulnerable they need to feel safe and protected. If you let the TV Set, Social Media, or the Internet do the baby sitting for you, you will have a child that grows up with many problems. Let this be a way to connect with your sons and daughters. Spend time as a family watching the news online, teaching them that strangers are not to be trusted online, and that it’s important to restrict what information you share with others.
The benefits of keeping children safe online are numerous for both parents and children, the main benefit of course is that as parent’s you keep them safe, and that they grow into strong (not just physically but emotionally, spiritually), intelligent, and self-confident adults.