Back to School Tips: Internet Safety for Kids
by Myla Pilao
Life in front of a screen
According to a recent survey, two-thirds of parents allow their children to use the Internet independently, and over 70 percent have admitted to their children engaging in risky online behaviour.
With the increasing daily use of digital technology, it’s critical for parents to integrate digital literacy and cyber hygiene into their child’s learning process. The Internet is a powerful tool offering a multitude of positive benefits, but it also has its risks. It is up to individuals to practice safe browsing habits that protect them and their families from malicious actors. This will enable them to enjoy all the positive opportunities that the Internet has to offer.
To help improve kids’ safety and awareness online, Trend Micro, a global cybersecurity solutions company, launched the Cyber Academy, which offers 7–10-year-olds a series of video-based lessons and learning materials designed to upgrade children’s digital literacy skills in a way that’s meaningful and engaging. The Cyber Academy consists of Internet safety lessons that focus on passwords, two-factor authentication, security and privacy among others. These free 10-15 minute lessons can be delivered on-demand and are available to teachers in the classroom or a guardian at home. This tool is also available in eleven different languages including Czech, Deutsch, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Chinese and Arabic.
Trend Micro’s Myla Pilao, Director of Technology Marketing and an avid advocate for the safety of children online, has shared a few tips for parents to keep in mind:
Have conversations about online safety in today’s digital world
Encourage your kids to ask questions. Make them feel safe to share if someone or something online makes them feel uncomfortable
Practice Digital Empathy
teaching kids to be kind to others online and offline is essential. Respecting others’ boundaries and privacy will make them recognize when someone is trespassing on theirs.
Teach children about privacy and password security
Ensure all devices and social media accounts are protected all the time. Keeping a strong password on all their accounts is critical.
Share what matters
Teach kids the difference between sharing and over-sharing. Talk to them about the consequences of posting personal photos or details. Make them understand the dangers of sharing home and email addresses, or phone numbers on public platforms. This will empower them to make better choices and judgements about what to share or not.
At the end of the day, we just want to encourage the children to be awesome online.
About the writer:
Myla Pilao heads the division at Trend Micro that monitors the security threat landscape, including high-profile attacks and prevalent Internet security threats. She is a strategic communicator, relationship builder and cyber security expert with over a decade of global leadership experience.
Passionate about bridging technology, security, and empathy, she is an active supporter and advocate for the protection of children online and stopping the online commercial distribution of inappropriate images of children.
She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the National University in Singapore. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Letters, major in Communication Arts, from the University of Santo Tomas.