cyber safety

Cybersafety is the safe and responsible use of information and communication technologies.1 It is the knowledge of maximizing the user’s personal safety against security risks to private information and property associated with using the Internet, and the self-protection from computer crime in general.11

    • Being online exposes us to cyber criminals and others who commit identity theft, fraud, and harassment.
    • Every time we connect to the internet, whether at home, at school, at work, or on our mobile devices, we make decisions that affect our cyber-security.
    • Cyber theft comprises of crimes in which a computer is used to steal money or other things of value. Cyber theft includes embezzlement, fraud, theft of intellectual property, and theft of personal or financial data. 7
    • Other computer security incidents encompass spyware, adware, hacking, phishing, spoofing, pinging, port scanning, and theft of other information.6
    • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) reports 15% of children between ages 10 and 17 have been contacted via the internet for sexual intent.4
    • 32% of teenagers hide or delete their browsing history from their parents.
    • 16% of teens have email or social media accounts their parents are unaware of.3
    • Children under the age of 18 are 51 times more likely to have their identities stolen.
    • Criminals target children because they have clean credit records and frequently post personal information publicly.2
Your cyber security could be at risk if:
    • You detect suspicious applications running, popups, warning messages, etc.
    • Someone breaks into your account or steals your password/personal information.
    • You find out that the person you’re emailing, texting or messaging is not the person you thought they were.
    • You have someone pretending to be you online.
Your child may be in contact with an online predator if they:
  • Become obsessed about being online and become secretive about their online activities.
  • Receive phone calls from people you do not know or make calls to numbers that you do not recognize.
  • Change screens or turn off computer when an adult enters a room.8
    • Avoid suspicious website; if a website suffers from poor design or multiple pop-up windows, it might not be a legitimate retailer. To stay safe, stick with big-name retailers or, on smaller sites, familiar payment systems, such as Paypal.
    • Identify mysterious emails and do not click on them or any hyperlink within them. The Better Business Bureau recommends ignoring any emails that ask for personal information, such as a bank account number.9
    • Flag suspicious emails (emails with attachments, sender unknown, hyperlinks and unusual requests).
    • Never share your password – ever. Make sure your password is at least 8 characters long and a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols. A password that looks random to the naked eye is more than perfect. For example: MFCIB93 seems like a bunch of gibberish but is easily translated into: My Favorite Color Is Blue and the numbers could refer to anything, like your birth year.
    • Parents need to be cautious and aware of security, and should also monitor their children’s internet use to prevent abuse or identity theft.2
    • Place the computer in a central location in the home so you can monitor children’s activity, even with a laptop!
    • Remind children and teens, not to share personal information on the computer including obvious information such as their name and telephone number, as well as revealing information such as the name of their school or sports team.
    • Talk to your children about what to do if they come across information, material, or pictures which are inappropriate or make them uncomfortable. Tell them directly that you want them to come to you with this information.3

RESOURCES​

To learn more, please visit:

Tips on how to monitor and protect your children’s internet activity, please visit The Kids Safe Foundation

Download the Parent Checklist