Cybersecurity: 5 pointers for parents

Cybersecurity is an increasingly important kind of awareness for everybody to have, because, in this very social media environment, security – of our data, identity, and property – it's just as “crowd-sourced” as media is now. Cybersecurity has become such a pervasive risk that the Department of Homeland Security has designated October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. We all know that kids are doing as much, if not more, sharing and producing as everybody else. So here, from our brand-new guide at, are some kid-specific cybersecurity pointers for parents:

1. Teach kids to spot malicious links

Dave Wallis/The Forum/AP
Kids spend just as much – if not more – time online as adults do and need to understand some basic rules of cybersecurity.

Kids love videos. So malicious links can turn up in popular video-sharing sites like YouTube. Ask your children if they’ve ever seen links that could take viewers to inappropriate or illegal content in other sites and ask them what they do when they encounter them. If they were familiar with the scam they probably ignored them but these bogus links can be cleverly disguised. Ads, too, can either link kids to content that isn’t appropriate or scams and third-party sites that capture sensitive information. Young people need to be wary of “make a new friend” links, dating sites, and gossipy-sounding scams that look like invites from friends or tempt them to “find out who’s talking about you” or “…who has a crush on you.”

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