Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Festive Cybersecurity: A Guide for Parents and Kids

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When it comes to ensuring online safety for children, avoiding panic and fearmongering is crucial. While there are real risks in various online spaces, empowered parents with the right information and cybersecurity tools can enhance their children’s protection. This is particularly important during school holidays, when kids may increase their internet usage for entertainment.

Research and surveys globally indicate that children are spending more time on screens than ever before, emphasizing the need for vigilant supervision. With estimates suggesting significant screen time for kids and teens, adherence to guidelines from organizations like the World Health Organization becomes vital. Setting screen limits is essential, especially during extended holiday periods when scammers target online and potentially unsupervised youngsters.

Tools for TikTok:
TikTok has surpassed one billion users, making it a popular platform for tweens and teens. While the official minimum age is 13, there’s no age verification mechanism. Parents must engage in conversations with their kids about responsible social media use, emphasizing the importance of privacy. Understanding social media guidelines and app functionalities, including data handling, is crucial for parents.

Fun and Games, but Safely:
As more young people engage in gaming during holidays, parents need to be aware of potential cybersecurity threats. Cybercriminals can exploit online gaming to access personal information. Parents should ensure age-appropriate games, monitor freemium games to prevent unintended expenses and employ parental controls to restrict payment access.

Parent’s Survival Guide:

1. Get Curious and Stay Informed:
– Communicate openly about online use.
– Understand your child’s favorite platforms and games.
– Be familiar with social media sites and know your child’s online connections.

2. Communicate that the Internet is the Real World:
– Highlight that online actions have real-life consequences.
– Address cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and identity theft.

3. Set Clear Expectations and Boundaries:
– Discuss screen time limits based on age.
– Help children understand the potential negative impact of excessive online time.

4. Use the Best Cybersecurity Tools:
– Employ parental control apps for added protection.
– Monitor your child’s online behavior and activities.

Ensuring a safe online environment involves a combination of communication, education, and intelligent tools to safeguard children during the school holidays and beyond.

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