No matter how much effort you invest in securing all your internet devices around your house, if you haven’t secured them from your children, all of your efforts will go to waste. Your kids are the weakest link in your online security and you need to make additional steps to ensure that you are safe and sound.
The first major issue is that kids constantly tend to download malicious software when going online. They are still small and innocent and think that those cute messages such as “you are a winner, claim your reward” are real and, just like that, all of your security measures could go to waste in an instant.
You might think that your kids are small to use the computer or your tablet, but trust me, as soon as you turn around, they’ll jump online looking for games and so on. What’s really worrying is the fact that kids are more tech-savvy than their parents believe and they learn quickly, every day.
You Must Understand Where the Risks Come From
Depending on their age, kids can jeopardize your security in different way. Toddlers might click on something randomly and delete some important system files. On the other hand, fifth graders are already starting to go online and they can download malicious software that can harm your system and steal important files.
The first step towards securing yourself from your kids is to know all of the devices that your kids are using and learn in how they are using them. Even if your kids have their own tablets or laptops, you must make sure that they don’t use yours as well while you are away.
Every device that they use needs to be secured as this means that they pose a risk. Carefully watch over your children, check what they do and, if possible, tell them to learn more about their activities.
Lock Your Devices
The simplest and the best solution for toddlers is to simply lock all of your devices. Create an account and lock it with a password. Additionally, make sure to set it to automatically lock very quickly after you stop using it.
This way, you will ensure that there is no time for your kids to grab the device and start using it. Toddlers are unable to put in passwords and hitting keys randomly will get them nowhere. If you want, you can give kids access to a guest account, but hide all of the icons that they don’t really have to use and put one or two games that they can play while you are away.
Use Parental Controls
All operating systems have parental controls through which you can deny access to programs and applications that you think might be misused by your kids. Most mobile OS probably have parental controls as well, and if not, there are apps that you can download for the same purpose.
Apart from being able to permit access to programs, you can also flag web pages that you wouldn’t like your kids to visit when online. Not only will you ensure that they don’t catch any harmful software online, but you can make sure that they don’t visit sites that are not suited for their age.
Talk and Educate
No matter how much you try to secure your devices and make the necessary steps to proof them from any harm, kids can always somehow find a way to mess things up. On the other hand, younger generations are very tech-savvy and they learn quickly. You might think that you’ve beaten them this year, but next year, they will learn to override your security measures!
This is why it is important to talk with them and educate them about the internet and the threats that lurk online. No matter how distant it might seem to them, teach them that the internet is not a safe place and that there are dangerous people online as well as in real life. Just as you teach them not to talk to strangers in real life, you should also teach them not to click on a strange offer online.
In the end, if you really keep very important files in your computer, encrypt those files and hide them somewhere where your kids will not look them for. There are various free encryption programs you can download to do this very simply.