Key safeguards to keep children safe online and help parents remain vigilant

With most smart devices that require biometric authentication and a growing number of apps using personal data to offer personalized services, children in the digital age are exchanging personal information at an unprecedented rate.

Parents can help young people understand that all content shared online – photos, opinions, personal information – is persistent and public and that everyone should be careful about sharing information online.

Current studies by the cyber security specialist Entrust highlighted consumer behavior regarding the use of personal data and emerging trends in information sources.

Safer Internet Day on February 9th is designed to promote safe and responsible use of technology for young people.

Entrust’s security experts have compiled their top Safer Internet Day tips to help parents maintain digital vigilance and keep their families safe online.

Maintain constant digital vigilance

The protection of your personal data is an ongoing process and requires regular efforts to keep your data secure.

Passwords:

  • Change your passwords regularly. Never use the manufacturer’s default passwords or any predictable sequences or information that others can easily find out through social engineering. It is recommended that you avoid using common sequences of numbers such as date of birth or first name.
  • It is highly recommended that you use unique passwords for each platform and use a password manager app or encryption service to ensure security.

equipment

  • Make sure your connected devices are configured to accept authenticated firmware updates. If it is not possible to configure your device for automatic updates, you may need to check the manufacturer’s website regularly.
  • Control access to your device and protect the collected and processed data with the strongest mechanisms available.
  • Disable services you don’t need to reduce your device’s attack surface.

Apps

  • Restrict access to only age-appropriate apps and read the terms of use to understand where and when personal information is used or shared. It might be surprising to learn how social media platforms use information outside of the app. Simplified versions of the general terms and conditions For the most popular social media platforms are available.

Improving digital skills

  • A lack of digital literacy can lead to some difficulty in understanding data protection or various threats to personal cybersecurity
  • Reading developments and information from sources such as the National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) or Internet matters to stay up to date on terminology, emerging threats and digital best practices

Identify reliable sources of information

  • TV programs, films and videos streamed online are among the most popular sources of education in the UK. This raises serious concerns that consumers could be accidentally or maliciously misinformed by false news or exaggeration.
  • Before accepting the information in an article or documentation, it is important to assess the reliability of a source and examine why certain content was created.
  • Consumers should regularly check the reports and results of data protection or government organizations. The NCSC in the UK offers expert advice for everyone from families to cyber security professionals.
  • There is a strong online community of IT professionals, security professionals, and industry leaders who often create free content that can be a valuable tool in cybersecurity education.

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