Online Security Expert, Thierry LeVasseur: Cyber Security Tips for Parents and Children

Cyber Security habits

Today’s youth are living in a society captivated by the internet. We see children scrolling through their parent’s smart devices at an early age, and then again when they reach the classroom as internet-required activities and lesson plans are incorporated into their daily lives.  

Whether it’s using a mobile device, laptop, smartphone or PC, it’s no surprise kids are seemingly unaware of becoming vulnerable to dangerous online crimes.  That’s why cybersecurity is becoming increasingly relevant, with more than 230,000 new malware samples launched every day. 

Childrens’ lack of basic knowledge about online privacy and security can very easily lead to identity theft, downloads of malicious files and exploitation.

Vancouver’s Thierry LeVasseur, a leader in digital technology and internet security, has some useful tips parents and teachers can implement to teach children about Internet safety and cybersecurity.

“Cyber thieves view children as easy targets,” LeVasseur explains. “These criminals can combine a child’s Social Insurance Number with a fake date of birth and address to open bank accounts, get credit cards or loans.  That is why it’s so important to teach your children about the world of online safety from an early age.”

LeVasseur suggests parents start by teaching kids how to protect their personal information, keeping passwords and account numbers private.  He also says they should be aware of downloading “free” things such as games, ringtones or other downloads that could be hiding dangerous malware. 

“Adults know from experience the importance of using strong email passwords.  The longer the password, the harder it is to crack.  Also, warn your kids to never share their passwords with anyone, including friends,” says LeVasseur.

In addition, LeVasseur urges the importance of ensuring your family computers are protected by reputable security software.  For ultimate protection, LeVasseur says parents should install a VPN service on their child’s most-used device.  VPN, or Virtual Private Network, creates a connection tunnel that automatically encrypts all the data coming in and out of their devices and effectively protects anyone using the Internet.

LeVasseur also suggests parents tell kids to be wary of downloading certain apps to their devices.  That’s because downloading may give the app’s developers access to personal information that’s not related to the purpose of the app. In turn, the developers can share that information with marketers and other outside parties. 

“A good way to combat this issue is by checking the privacy settings on your child’s device to see what information the app can access.  The least amount of personal information out there, the safer they will be,” adds LeVasseur.

Also, he says to be sure to discuss the importance of social media safety and remind them that everything they share will remain on the internet indefinitely. 

“If you want to take an extra step in securing your child’s online privacy, create fake social media names and fake school/ city name for them.” Teaching kids early-on about the importance of internet safety is one lesson that could prevent

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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