It is amazing just how much children today know about computers and at such an early age. Most parents, even though our school days were just a matter of a few years ago, can’t quite get over the fact that even kindergarten students are being taught how to code and some basic programming skills. That’s truly amazing, isn’t it?
However, there is something even more important than learning how to code and that is how to stay safe in a world where there are so many predators out there. From simple hackers looking to pull pranks to child predators up to no good, the world is full of not-so-nice people and children should be taught internet safety from a very early age.
Learning from the Medical Profession
Parents, if you are looking for a good example of why keeping your digital data safe is of vital importance, just think about what would happen if your child’s EHRs were hacked by someone looking to do your child harm? There are a great number of students in the masters in health policy program at schools like Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University that spend a large amount of time and research learning how to ensure these records don’t get breached.
When they begin working in the legal end of the healthcare industry, it is their duty to ensure the safety of all patients. Many of these health law degree programs have a specialty in children’s health and it is here that they work to provide the protection your child needs from the malicious intent of hackers.
Teaching Your Children Security Basics
Once children are old enough to actually begin navigating the Web, they are typically old enough to read and write to some degree. They know their name, address and phone number by this time in their lives so rule #1 is “Never share where you live or who you are with anyone, no matter who they say they are.” Children should understand that you cannot see who is on the other end of cyberspace and even if they say they are your “Uncle Jim” or “Aunt Ruth” why would they want to know who you are and where you live?
Also, children need to be taught to run for mom and dad immediately if they feel like someone is asking for information they shouldn’t be seeking. Tell them not to answer any questions at all and if mom and dad aren’t at home, get the babysitter or simply shut down the computer and wait until their parents come home.
There are so many ways in which kids can be lured into giving too much information and even with all the child-safety-software installed on your computer with high level parental controls, hackers can often penetrate even the strongest walls. As a parent, and the child’s ultimate teacher, it is up to you to teach your children the basics of internet safety. Many parents take it one step further and enroll their children in classes, but even so, never let your children go online unless they have an adult nearby and have been taught to observe the basic rules of safety.