There’s a lot you can do to help protect children—and teach them so they may protect themselves.
With the new school year starting, now is a great time to speak with your children about cybersecurity and to make sure you’re doing all you can to help keep them safe.
Whether your children are on their first mobile devices or striving to be social media influencers, what they do and say online can affect them and your family, now and into the future.
So here are some tips that can help protect your children—and your whole family.
The most important action you can take is to establish an open and ongoing dialogue with your children about cybersecurity, discussing the positives and negatives of being online, stressing the fact that “online is forever” and offering some cautions about strangers. Speak with them about:
Ask the administrators of your child’s school: What are the school’s rules, and what are they teaching about cyber safety, social media and cyber bullying?
Your children may already have a presence online and on social media. That means their identity and information may already be at risk. And compromised security can go undetected for years.
Some precautions you and your children can take should go a long way toward protecting them:
1. Account names and passwords
2. Location. Review the apps on your children’s devices. You can help protect your children by limiting or turning off location tracking for unnecessary apps.
3. Social media. Review social media privacy settings on a regular basis, as updates may change the visibility of your child’s information. Make sure your child’s settings are set to private, not public.
4. Online activity. You may want to set time and content limits for how your children can access digital media and devices, including mobile phones, tablets and computers. You can monitor the content your children are accessing by using the content filters available on most devices. If you are not sure what is appropriate online time and/or activity for your child, the American Academy of Pediatrics provides guidelines on how children should use devices, as well as resources to help build a family media plan. Visit https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media.
5. Devices. Review new and hand-me-down devices to ensure they are set up securely. Keep devices and operation systems up to date. Install antivirus software and set it to “auto update.”
6. Public Wi-Fi and unknown links. Teach children public Wi-Fi is not safe. If they have to use it, they should enable a virtual private network (VPN), even for gaming sessions. Also warn them not to click on unknown links.
7. Credit. Even though your child might not have a credit rating yet, it’s important to protect it. You can protect your child’s future credit by contacting each credit bureau (e.g., Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). That will prevent a person, merchant or institution from opening a new account in your child’s name and using their credit before they become adults and need a credit rating.
It often helps children comply if the whole family is subject to the same rules. Here’s a sample list of rules to help you craft your family’s cyber guidelines:
Cybersecurity is a key concern for J.P. Morgan; we are dedicated to protecting your financial life. If you want to learn more about cybersecurity for your children, please contact your J.P. Morgan representative. Be sure to ask for a copy of our workbook, Teaching your children about wealth, which includes cyber tips for every age group.
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This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be relied upon, to address every aspect of the subject discussed herein. The information provided in this article is intended to help clients protect themselves from cyber fraud. It does not provide a comprehensive listing of all types of cyber fraud activities and it does not identify all types of cybersecurity best practices. You, your company or organization is responsible for determining how to best protect itself against cyber fraud activities and for selecting the cybersecurity best practices that are most appropriate to your needs. Any reproduction, retransmission, dissemination or other unauthorized use of this document or the information contained herein by any person or entity is strictly prohibited.
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