While it may seem daunting to teach kids appropriate cybersecurity habits, in the digital time we live in, it's important to start early. Cyber security organization ESET has developed recommendations on how to teach children cybersecurity habits.
While most parents grew up in an age when the internet was just beginning, the virtual world for kids is an integral part of the real world. Since today's children are more familiar with the applications of the digital world than their parents, it is necessary to bring together security-related elements in a fun and understandable way and share them with them. Children who start using secure passwords at an early age will continue to use secure passwords into adulthood. ESET has outlined how witches, wizards and superheroes can protect kids from cyber villains.
What not to do
Passwords are the first line of defense preventing unauthorized people from accessing your valuable data, and although many people agree that creating a strong and secure password is not difficult and everyone should do so, many statistics, surveys, and breaches show that not everyone follows this advice. Weak options such as "12345" and "password" are consistently one of the most common passwords. Instead, you could start by telling kids that passphrases are much safer and that you can create one by playing together.
Fun but useful passwords
A good passphrase includes a combination of long, uppercase and lowercase letters, and special characters and numbers. This may include incorporating a joke that only family members know, quotes from their favorite books or movies, in the password. For example, "The Height of UstaYodan is 0,66MetersLong!". Alternatively, you can combine the kids' favorite book and food, such as "HarryPotter & 5Kofte!". The most important thing to remember to tell your kids is that they should never share their passwords with anyone, because passwords should always remain confidential.
It's not easy to remember it all
It's important to teach kids to create a unique and strong passphrase, but if you don't want them to create a unique password for each account and then remember it later, you will need to provide a solution that will simplify the process. Enter Password Manager, an application specially designed to store all your login information in an encrypted vault and generate complex passwords for you. This means that your kids won't have to keep creating, memorizing, or filling in complex unique passwords for their online accounts, the password manager will do those for them. All they need to remember is a unique master password you found together.
The secret way to multi-factor authentication
To keep accounts safe, you need to add an additional layer of security. At this point, multi-factor authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication (better known as 2FA) comes across. One of the most common 2FA factors used is the automated text messages you receive whenever you try to log into an account. Unfortunately, this isn't the safest, as cell phone numbers can be forged and text messages can be intercepted. Therefore, an authenticator implementation or a hardware solution such as authentication keys are the more secure methods to be preferred.
Super spies can step in for you
When it comes to physical keys or authentication apps, it's easy to disguise their use as fun for kids to understand. They've probably seen a cartoon or children's movie where the hero is a schoolboy by day and super spy by night. In this way, you can explain that the authenticator app is a special tool that only sends a unique code to spies so that only they can access sensitive information that is classified as top secret.