We all know that raising kids is a skill, but how much more complicated is it now with kids using technology so soon? Young children play on cell phones and hand-held electronics as soon as two years of age or younger. Parents are guilty of using their phones for Netflix, Disney, and whatever else may entertain their children while they, the parents, are trying to get things accomplished. We have discussed this commonality throughout numerous articles with Dale Dumbs IT Down.
With all this technology and information on the internet, how can we keep our kids safe and make sure they become cyber-smart? This is not an easy discussion, so we hope this article provides some useful ideas to help you talk to your kids and discuss the importance of cybersecurity and being cyber-smart. Much like we mentioned in How to Teach Your Kids About CyberSecurity and Games, we’ll discuss different ways to help encourage online safety and smart internet practices.
Raising Cybersmart Kids
It all starts with the conversations at home. Parents and guardians have the opportunity to provide the best knowledge and education for their children. Unfortunately, schools, daycares, etc., might not share similar philosophies for education or cyber awareness. We stress the conversations at home and encourage you to do what is best for your family. Luckily, there is a plethora of websites (like ours), programs, and games dedicated to helping families raise cyber-smart kids.
Knowledge is Power
Safer Internet Day (SID) is February 7th, 2023. This organization promotes global education and resources for a safer internet, encouraging people to participate while bringing others together to make the most of the internet’s potential. Their slogan: “Together for a better internet” focuses on their mission of continually promoting safe internet practices. The European Union initially created SID in 2004, and since then, it has grown globally, working with other countries to promote cybersecurity and cyber awareness. Each year, this organization focuses on content and themes our children are experiencing such as cyber bullying, scams, predators, etc.
LEARN: SID Resources
This global organization works within its network with a larger global resource called INHOPE, which is a European network aiming to help prevent child sexual abuse and materials. INHOPE offers hotlines to protect children from online enticement by predators. Raising our kids to be cyber smart includes identifying what online threats are like sexual enticement, predators, etc. It’s not an easy conversation; however, it’s vital to our children’s online safety. As we shared previously, there are multiple safety apps to help protect our children from unwanted content and to protect them in an emergency. However, acknowledging the threats and teaching our youth is how we can make a difference.
DISCOVER: Parental Supervision
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) discusses the various dangers of online predators and provides resources for parents and guardians. To keep our children safe and cyber-smart, they need to be aware of all the issues out there. Online enticement and sextortion are real issues affecting our youth regularly. Online victimization is the biggest threat to our children. This is where it’s crucial to inform our children of the scary possibilities of online conversations, image sharing, information and identity sharing, and more. We discussed the benefits of Google Family Link in regards to monitoring your children’s online presence and content. Although you can monitor much of your children’s information, as we said before, their schools, friends, etc. might not be as cyber smart or as cyber aware as you’d like.
TRENDING: North Dakota & Cyber Defense
Cyber Legends is a cyber safety and educational online game for kids. The concept is that kids can learn to be cyber smart through the online game and storyline. The plot contains the evil Lord Hacker and evil robots who are causing destruction and mayhem. Station 66 needs help to fight off the evildoers. Kids can pick and choose their characters, gear, and more while exploring Station 66 and avoiding the evil Lord Hacker.
You can create an account as a parent or guardian to monitor and learn what your children learn. You can set up your kid’s accounts, pick a plan, and start the journey. The cyber educational game is free but offers educators various plans annually per teacher, school, or district. The hope is that this game is introduced in elementary schools, teaching these school-age kids how to protect themselves and others against cyberbullying, stalking, and more. Game designers created various characters and activities to help keep kids cyber-aware and cyber-smart.
As we discussed before, teaching our kids to be cyber-smart can be challenging, especially when it comes to online enticement and sextortion. Cyber Legends even has a Digital Health Consent for parents and educators to learn how to approach sexual content in the digital world through various situations in Cyber Legends. Parents have a dashboard where they can see these or any other lectures beforehand.
Cyber Legends provides a safe space for kids and families to learn about being cyber smart and cybersecurity without the added stress. This platform can help back the conversations you’re having at home, bringing attention to the “forever” system the world wide web created while keeping the atmosphere friendly. Use Cyber Legends as another way to provide a defensive educational opportunity to your children so they can understand the repercussions of technology.
We know that being a parent has many challenges, and we have a lot on our plates. However, it’s up to us to stay in the know about the issues the internet, apps, and games might have. Raising your kids to be cyber smart is raising your kids as cyber aware, cyber secure, and safe from predators.
Have you read our article on Spotify and porn? Check out How Your Kids Can Access Porn Through Your Spotify. Who would have even imagined? This is why we do what we do as parents.
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