It is cybersecurity awareness month, so here are some tips for kids! Just as Halloween lurks around the corner with its villains and ghouls, so too do cybercriminals with their bag of tricks ready to spook the unwary. But fear not, let us guide you through the shadowy world of cybersecurity this spooky season.
Much like our favourite Halloween villains, cybercriminals are crafty, elusive, and always plotting their next move. Here are some top tips so you can stay safe as you explore new digital depths!
- Watch out for sneaky phishing scams! Cybercriminals concoct phishing emails and messages to trick you. So, don't click on suspicious links and remember, always check the sender's identity - you can ask a responsible adult to help you.
- Keep your passwords secret. Create strong passwords that are tough to crack. Use a mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters (like !?*&). And don't share your passwords with anyone. To stay extra secure, change them regularly - keeping them safe from prying eyes.
- Hide your location. You don't want anyone to know where you're floating around, right? So, use your device's settings to turn off location tracking and protect your privacy. It’s easy and will help keep you safe.
- Disguise yourself. When playing online games or joining chat rooms, why not use an alias instead of your real name? Also, avoid sharing personal information like your age, school, or home address. Who knows what monsters might be lurking in the virtual shadows?
- Be careful of creepy contacts! If someone you don't know tries to befriend you online, be cautious. Cyberbullies and predators can be very good at concealing their true identities and/or agendas. So, don't accept friend requests from strangers, and talk to your parents or guardians if you receive suspicious messages.
- Consider apps and downloads carefully. Only download apps and games from trusted sources like app stores. You can also check reviews and permissions before installing anything and ask for advice from a trusted adult if you are unsure. Remember, some apps can contain malware that can harm your device.
- Stay private. When using social media, set your profile to private so only friends can see your posts. And think before you share! Once you post something online, it can be challenging to make it disappear, just like a ghost!
- Update your digital armour. Keeping your devices, apps, and antivirus software up-to-date is like having magic armour that can protect you from cyber-attacks. These updates often include patches for vulnerabilities (fixes for security risks) that cyber attackers could exploit.
- Report suspicious activity! If you come across anything online that makes you uncomfortable or seems fishy, tell a trusted adult about it. They can help you navigate the situation safely.
Now you have the basics, share your knowledge!
Teach your friends and siblings these Halloween cybersecurity spells to keep the bad guys at bay! The more people who know how to stay safe online, the less scary the digital world becomes. You can also visit Digital matters and explore their interactive learning modules.