As if the flurry of shredded wrapping paper and unchecked sugar consumption weren’t scary enough, modern parents have to grapple with another source of holiday anxiety: new mobile phones and devices in their children’s hands. But fear not: Varay’s got you covered with four simple security awareness tips for kids and teens.
Whether your kids are using a phone, PC, or tablet, there are some security threats you should be aware of. Talk over these tips with your children and make sure to check in periodically as you learn about other safe practices.
Tip #1: Google game names + “safety”
Minecraft, Fortnite, and other top games often have chat features or mods that can take the gaming experience from carefree to questionable in no time flat. Generally, the threats come from other users abusing the ability to chat by bullying, introducing language or topics you don’t want your child exposed to, or (worst case) seeking personal info or grooming them for inappropriate contact.
One option is to disable voice chat, but it will block them from certain collective types of play. Take time to look into each game and make the best decision for your family. Start an open dialogue about what constitutes unsafe communication with your kids. And remember that you wield the ability to engage parental controls on each device.
Tip #2: Customize their YouTube experience
YouTube poses some interesting dilemmas for content-cautious parents. Of course, you can set up content controls on YouTube-proper to filter a lot of adult and violent content, but even YouTube Kids has some disturbing chinks in its filtering armor. Some possible solutions (particularly for young kids) include creating playlists of trusted videos and disabling the search ability on YouTube Kids. For older kids and teens, you also have the option of allowing only whitelisted video play.
Tip #3: Have family talks about games, apps, and surfing
Safe internet practices aren’t just a childhood concern — they are equally important for adults. Family chats about safe game, app, and internet use should be as common as conversations about money and school, because online behavior can directly impact your children’s financial and academic futures.
Tip #4: Know the risks of e-wallets
Convenient mobile wallet systems like Apple Pay are increasingly popular with teens, but it’s important to teach them safe money transferring practices. If you’re concerned they’re not ready for the ease-of-pay that comes with an e-wallet service, you can create a joint account that will send you and your child notifications about transactions and balances.
It’s also important to talk with them about how to spot a scammer who is asking for money.
Varay is here to stop security threats
Scam awareness isn’t just for kids. It’s essential for everyone who uses email and texting technology — especially in the business world.
Contact us today to learn more about scam spotting through Security Awareness Training.