Cybersecurity: Protecting your children online

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 12:00pm

As a technologist, I am fascinated by bringing our businesses online to create efficiencies and with this, our obligation to provide cybersecurity. In my first blog post on cyber security, I talked about cyber breaches. In my second blog post today on cybersecurity, I would like to talk about our jobs as parents to protect our children in a changing social world. In future posts, I will be covering how you can protect both yourself and your business. Stay tuned to Tandy on Real Estate for these.

According to Shakespeare, “the world is our oyster”, or so it seems now that pretty much anything and everything is available online – whether it is a fact, or as we hear so much of now, an “alternative fact”. What we should remember is, in our world of immediate access, we still need to protect ourselves, and most importantly, our children.

The first thing to remember when approaching cybersecurity is that anything placed online CANNOT be permanently deleted. It will always be online. The “International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium” (ISC2) states that, “anything posted or sent through the Internet is impossible to fully remove.” It is our duty as parents to communicate this to our children, and to help them to build healthy online habits that will protect them as they grow up in their social world.

Here are few tips for child safety from ISC2 and the social networks themselves:

  1. Get to know the social networks. Research these social networks, and remember to include your children in the research process.
  2. Realize there are age requirements to most social networks and respect these rules- they are in place for a reason.
  3. Make parental approval of social groups or networks part of your house rules.
  4. Talk about what is an acceptable and respectable post.
  5. “Friend” or “follow” your kids so you can check in on their social media activity. You don’t have to participate, just take a look as often as possible.
  6. Data provided to a social network is stored and, most of the time, it is shared by default. Ensure your child’s profile is set to Private. Go into settings and help them adjust the default controls.

These are just a few tips for parents. The biggest part is to start the conversation with your children about social networks, their privacy and how they can participate in the online conversation safely.

Here are a few tips on getting the conversation started.  

To receive more Tandy on Real Estate updates direct to your inbox, please subscribe.