(BPT) - Back to school means new tech and gadgets, from tech devices and online learning platforms to online-only textbooks. With new digital learning devices and platforms comes the need for additional online safety tools and the ability to educate kids on safe online habits.
Before the school year starts, many families will need to tackle this head-on and teach kids the importance of digital safety. Not sure how to start the conversation? Check out these four tips to help protect your kids online as they begin a new school year.
1. Discuss the dangers of identity theft
Did you know that in 2021, more than 1.25 million children in the U.S. were victims of identity theft and fraud? According to Javelin Strategy & Research, over half of all identity theft cases involve children ages 9 and younger. Most victims won't know their identity has been stolen until they're adults and apply for a loan or credit card.
To reduce the risk of identity theft, teach your kids how to protect their personal information online. For younger children, emphasize the importance of keeping their full name, birthday, address and phone numbers private. If you have teenagers, make sure they understand that they shouldn't share their Social Security numbers or driver's license information.
2. Be mindful of what you post on social media
Potential fraudsters can glean sensitive information from you or your child's social media profiles. You may not think twice about sharing a birthday photo or a snapshot of your family vacation, but scammers can easily use this information to access your accounts or find out where you live.
Sit down as a family and review your social media accounts to increase your digital security. Some ways you can enhance your social media privacy are to:
- Make your profiles private
- Restrict who can see your posts
- Limit comment access to close friends
- Limit message requests to approved followers only
- Never reveal your address or date of birth
- Disable location sharing on certain apps
By following these steps, you can instantly secure your family's social media accounts and teach your children how to be digital security savvy.
3. Review password security best practices
If you use a password that contains personal information - like your birthday or a pet's name - and you reuse passwords, chances are your children do too. Teach your children the importance of password protection and best practices for password security.
One way to easily protect your whole family's passwords is to use a password manager. Aura, an all-in-one online safety platform, offers several ways to protect your devices, including a password manager. This feature stores and manages your family's online accounts in one place and, more importantly, automatically chooses long, random and complex passwords that are difficult to crack. Never recycle passwords again!
4. Check parental controls
Parental controls are a powerful tool to give you peace of mind that your kids' online activity and behavior are in accordance with your family's preferences. Not only do they allow you to monitor your child's screen time and online activity, but you can also use parental controls to block and filter harmful sites.
Included in Aura's family plan is Circle Parental Controls, which allows you to manage mobile devices, filter websites, monitor internet usage, set screen time limits, limit video searches, ensure safe browsing and block online video games.
Get a handle on your family's online safety before the fall term kicks off. Using these four tips, you can help your children stay safe online while securing their online presence.
In honor of back-to-school season, Aura is offering families a risk-free 14-day free trial and 50% off their family plan from Aug. 15-Sept. 12. The family plan comes with Circle Parental Controls (a $119 value) for free! Other features include antivirus and VPN protection, identity protection and 24/7 customer support. To learn more, visit Aura.com/bts.