We all know we need protect our children’s privacy and safety – both on and offline. As kids get more tencholigcally savvy at younger ages (my two year old knows his way around my Kindle better than I do!), they are increasingly more vulnerable to having their private information exposed – which may effect their financial future. Today Nico Sell, founder of Wickr and DEFCON Kids, shares with us her tips on how to better protect their information and online privacy with you!

Photo Source: Flickr

Q: What are some ways even non-techy moms can protect their families online?

A: There are a lot of simple ways that even the most un-tech savvy among us can implement strategies to protect their children and families online.  One way is to communicate with your children about what content is and is not appropriate for sharing online.   Another easy way to protect your children online is to make sure they are not using apps suited for adults thirteen and over (Facebook and Instagram are popular ones).

Q: What are some examples of “worst-case scenarios” of children having their personal information compromised?

A: There have been a number of instances in the media where underage youth have experienced serious repercussions for sharing inappropriate content online and through mobile apps.  The best way to ensure your children are safe is to make them aware of these scenarios and why it’s important to share smartly and securely.

Q: What kind of financial implications can this have for them in the future?

A: In the short term, it’s important for children and adults to always make sure they’re using secure networks for online banking, shopping, and other financial transactions.  It’s also important to ensure that your children know that the Internet is forever – the pictures, messages, and content they post online today can always findable by future employers.

Q: Do you think it’s a good idea for parents to block sites and downloads that might be a security risk?

A: I always advise parents to limit their children’s access to sites that aren’t secure or protected, and to also be transparent with their children about the security risks that do exist online.

 Q: Is there any way we can monitor what they do online?

A: There are definitely options and software available that can be used to monitor what your kids do online, but ultimately the best way to protect your online identity is abstinence.  XX Don’t participate in unprotects sites.

The old rule of thumb, friend your kids on Facebook, is no longer a useful option for moms.  Any smart kid knows to create an alias parents can’t see.  Duh.  So, what is a mom to do?  Teach your kids how to be a top secret super spy. Use Wickr to leave no Trace. Teach them about the Wayback Machine.  At least then, you can protect them from the Internet.  The Internet is forever.  Your personal info, like your location throughout each day, shouldn’t be.  It can be used to hurt you.

Another tip – teach your kids how to be aware of their digital footprint.  Some part should be amplified and other parts should never exist on the Internet.  Take control.

Q: What are some ways kids can tarnish their reputations online or via SMS? How can they avoid that?

A: While there are many instances where kids can tarnish their reputations, it is most important that children trust the recipient no matter what type of content they are sharing.  Of course, sending encrypted messages is ultimately the best and most secure way to ensure that even if your child does send potentially compromising content, they are protected.

Thanks, Nico!

What practices have you implemented in your own home to keep your children safe online?

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One Response to Tips for Moms and Family Security Q&A

  1. Rebecca says:

    i love these tips! great for any mom or family to know :)

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