Back To School Online Safety Tips

It’s August and that means many of our children will be heading back to school. This is a good time to take a moment to have a conversation to remind our children of some of the dangers of the internet and online communication, as well as continuing to discuss cyber-bullying and recognizing the impact that it can have on our children.

Have a Conversation!

The first thing that we need to do is have a conversation with our children. Yes, you may be greeted with the eye-roll but we cannot guarantee that our children already know all the things that we need to remind them about.

Simple for Us, Not For Them

Working in cybersecurity, sometimes we forget that not everyone is aware of scams and tricks as we are. We need to make sure that we are teaching our children some of those simple things that scammers do to trick their victims. A few things that we have made sure that our children understand are:

  • Not everyone you talk to online is really who they say they are (A favorite line from the movie “Ready Player One” is that “She could actually be a 300 pound dude who lives in his momma’s basement in suburban Detroit. And her name is Chuck.”)
  • Never give your personal information (real name, address) to someone online, even if they say that they are your friend (again, queue the line from “Ready Player One”!)
  • Most apps will not ask you to provide your username/password mid-game or to get prizes. This is a way for someone to hack into your account (this conversation was held after I had to contact Roblox support to get one of our girl’s accounts back after she provided an “app” her credentials to get a really cool pet and promptly was locked out of her account!)
  • If someone is being mean to you (aka bullying), then block them and let a parent know

For a look back on how to help your child with cyber-bullying, take a look at Hailey’s posts on Remote Schooling: Keeping Kids Safe From Coronavirus, but At Heightened Risk for Cyberbullying and Cybersecurity Close to Home – 7 Tech Tips for Families