The next life skill that needs to be taught to kids at a young age is cybersecurity for the home, and for the whole family. When I was a teenager and the Internet first came to my city, the only cybersecurity for the home concerns were not meeting strangers you met online, and not giving out passwords.
Things have changed since then. Hackers are more sophisticated and better equipped. And the amount of data at stake has reached exponential levels. You can do plenty to increase your home cybersecurity, and keep your family safer from identity theft and a host of other malicious online attacks.
What are the present and future cybersecurity threats for the family
The basic cybersecurity threats out there right now center around fraud and identity theft. Each one has special ways of exploiting children to meet those goals.
The most basic way that this happens is through malware. This software or code will damage a computer in some way, disable some of its security features, and
steal information. You can expect malware to do one of these:
- Become pop-up advertisements that annoy
- Be backdoors or botnets which take over your machine
These problems have been going on since the first networks were created. Sometimes for LOLZ, most times as a threat.
The future of malware is in the mobile world. People feel all too invulnerable of their smartphones and tablets, not taking the same precautions as they do on their computers. This needs to be an area of special concern in the cybersecurity education going on in your home.
To directly address the future of cybersecurity in your home and for your family, both the US and English governments have created plans. If you really want to know what’s going on in cybersecurity according to two major government, download and read the UK Security Strategy, and the USA Security Strategy. These documents were once rife with military might, but now look at cybersecurity as a vital aspect of the defence of their nations.
Educational resources for home-based cybersecurity
For those in the USA, the DHS has a National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. It works through Universities to help grow young talent. For those who aren’t at that level, the DHS has partnered with USA Today to build lesson plans for both home-based cybersecurity learning, as well as classroom based. Check out StaySafeOnline.com for more!
Over in jolly ole England, the GCHQ is working with six universities on Master’s Degree cybersecurity courses. Again, for those who are not at that level they have Cryptoy. This app is designed to help children learn about code-breaking. You can find it on Google Play, or the GCHQ’s website.
To be fair, you don’t need to be American or British to use either educational tool. They’re free to download and use anywhere by anyone.
What you can do right now for better cybersecurity for your family
If the above resources haven’t quite met your needs, here are some basics to get you started:
Find a way to stay informed
The Internet isn’t just one big threat, it is also an incredible resource of cybersecurity knowledge. Many blogs and online forums discuss cybersecurity risks. You’re on one of them right now, in fact!
Staying informed is your surest way to stay secure as you can alerted to new patches and software that will protect you before you use the Internet unguarded for long.
Use tools that protect you
Entering passwords, giving out email address, conducting online banking, these are all risky online behaviors. You can help negate them by using a VPN to encrypt these transactions and prevent hackers from stealing your information. One man in the middle attack could completely ruin your whole cybersecurity for your home plan.
Visiting your favorite websites is usually a simple proposition. Surfing around and learning information is what the Internet is all about. It’s when you start to put information out there that you have to be cautious.
This includes any information that could be useful to a hacker. Even your email address can be harvested and sold to spammers.
Don’t go all anti-flu vaccine on us here. You need to regularly update your anti-malware programs, operating system, and software. These frequently feature the latest cybersecurity updates. Without them, you’re leaving yourself open to cybersecurity threats when you don’t need to.
Anyone can learn about better cybersecurity for your family and home
One of the foremost voice in better Cybersecurity for your family and home is Reuben Paul. He is the CEO of Prudent Games. They have to apps right now:
- Cracker Proof
- Crack Me If You Can
These fun games look at basic information security ideas, and brute force hacks.
Rueben is not some fancy high-powered executive with a college degree. Reuben is an 8 year old boy who learned about cybersecurity from his father and wanted to do something to help others learn about cybersecurity for the home.
— Reuben Paul (@RAPst4r) January 13, 2015
See? An eight year old kid!
Feature image via Billion Photos / Shutterstock