4 Common Cyber Attacks on Kids and How to Combat Them
Cyber attacks are here, becoming more sophisticated by the day.
A growing number of cyber criminals target the most vulnerable among us: kids.
Are your kids protecting themselves from cyber attacks?
Are they blissfully unaware of the dangers surrounding them?
You should consider doing more to improve their security – since they’re on the internet 24/7!
With more devices with internet capability being brought into the home, there are many ways for our children to get access to the internet.
While it’s great that they already have their own devices, this also makes them vulnerable to common cyber attacks.
There’s no doubt that the internet has revolutionized the activities of mankind.
It has improved communication and serving us tons of resources that make our lives more efficient.
Flashback to when we were younger, kids nowadays are more exposed to different things which we did not experience before.
We are in a digital era that heralds the birth of virtual reality.
It allows us to connect with millions of people all over the world, make transactions, and access tons of data and information.
Sounds promising, right?
But it is not as safe as you might think.
The rise of technology does not save us from its pitfalls, which may harm not only our children but also our communities and organizations.
Cyber attacks are unorthodox methods that pose threats to people online.
Unfortunately, these dangers may permeate our own homes, where our children are the most unwitting vulnerable victims to it.
Cyber attacks are like termites that propagate to destroy our homes without us knowing.
Have you ever seen your child feeling upset and disconnected as well as losing interest in the things he used to enjoy doing?
Has he or she been unwilling to tell you about what he feels as he hides in his online activities?
This leads us to the first cyber threat which is cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is one of the fastest rising cyber crimes all over the world.
It is a form of harassment using electronic means where spewing hateful comments or messages can be done with just one click.
It affects the mental health of our children which can lead to anxiety, depression, isolation, and suicidal tendencies.
Moving on to number two, and one of the most frightening cyber attacks on children – the cyber predators.
You may feel comfortable seeing your child at home in his PJs while scrolling through his iPad.
You may enjoy seeing him making fun videos on TikTok, playing his online games or sharing your family photo on Facebook.
But are you aware of whom your child interacts with online?
When was the last time you checked on the installed apps on their gadget and scanned their browsing history?
Cyber predators are all over the internet and one of them might be watching and following your child.
Scary as it may sound, but it is what it is.
Your child is vulnerable to the emotional, psychological, and sexual harassments of these
They can connect through messaging application platforms and even to online video games that your child is playing.
Their goal is to establish rapport with young people so they can capitalize the relationship they built to their advantage by inflicting trauma on them.
Next on the list, a threat that looks real as you encounter it, but is meant to fool you,
Phishing is a criminal activity that attempts to gather information from your child and may be used for identity theft and illegal financial transactions.
You’ve probably come across an email from your bank or a trusted organization asking you to enter your personal information, username, password, and even your bank account details.
Don’t click it unless it’s verified.
Always double check when in doubt.
Your child may be at higher risk for this threat because they might not be able to identify trustworthy sources popping on their screen and what’s not.
This leads us to the last and fourth cyberattack on kids which is falling into scams.
We, adults, get too excited when we see the word ‘FREE.’
Imagine what a child would feel if he was offered with the things they value, such as free access to an online game or an upgrade to the character on their video game.
Most likely, with no hesitation–they’ll dive into it.
Cybercriminals know where and how to target their next victims.
The scam may be in the form of an advertisement to websites or online video games, which would eventually demand the child to provide their personal information or their parents’ credit cards in return for their false promises.
Now that you have an overview of these online threats, we’ll be sharing tips to secure and protect your child digitally.
The best way to battle these virtual enemies is within your power.
Number 1: Educate and Engage
Identifying the problem is 50% of the solution already.
And the best way to identify the problem is by acknowledging that there is an existing problem and subsequently raising
Children being the most vulnerable victims of cyber attacks are not aware that these exist.
Asking your child how his school went, and the activities he did with his playmates is just as important as knowing his online activities.
Engaging with your child and having knowledge on their activities in cyberspace gives you the ability to learn the patterns of their behavior.
With this, you’d be able to understand them, gaining the upper hand to educate them strategically.
Here are some online etiquette you can use as starters as you go along with your journey in keeping your child digitally secured.
Encourage your child to speak up or report to you whenever they feel like they’re being harassed or bullied.
Second is teaching them the importance of protecting their personal information, including their accounts and passwords by strictly keeping these to themselves and not sharing it with anyone.
The third is being responsible for whatever you post, share, or comment to others.
And finally, a simple rule that may save their future – think before you click.
Number 2: Be Responsible and Disciplined
Whether your kids are using laptops, cell phones, tablets, or any other gadgets.
It is essential to teach them how to maintain their gadgets and discipline them by setting a reasonable time frame where they can use the internet.
This way, you can prevent them from excessively dwelling in their virtual world and encourage them to nurture their interpersonal relationships with others.
Having a dedicated place where you can keep your family’s gadgets before you go to bed or during their ‘break time’ is also a good idea.
This keeps your kids from overusing their time on the internet and prevents them from having interrupted sleep.
Number 3: Use Technology to Your Advantage
Installing a tracking device on your kid’s smartphone or iPad can help you monitor the places they go to.
This can allow you to prevent harmful events from happening.
They should also be taught about the importance of openness and responding to your calls or messages whenever you reach out to them.
Building firewalls on your network and computer mitigates the vulnerability of your system from getting hacked and to phishing infiltration.
Put forward the importance of cybersecurity and consider it as an investment.
This is to protect your network devices, programs, personal information, or date to block the threats and unauthorized access that might enter your system.
You may also set-up a filtering system on your network and devices to shield your child from having access to malicious sites or data.
OpenDNS is a free service that allows you to filter, block, or redirect malicious sites to a different IP Address.
This is an easy security process that aims to protect your network, but also the future of our children.
It also prevents pulling in viruses on our devices, making it an overall effective tool for security.
Last but not least, set as an example for your children.
Children are like sponges: they absorb whatever you show to them because they instinctively assume that whatever you’re doing is right.
You are your child’s role model, so you must always be informed and impart your knowledge to them.
We know that you won’t always be available to look out for your child, but you can always teach them practices that would protect them when you’re not around.
Always remember, stay vigilant, be responsible, and think before you click.