This post is made in conjunction with Verified.org who approached me with a collaboration idea focused on cybersafety. As Dads looking out for and protecting our families, it is really important to make sure that we know about and are as prepared as possible for the dangers and potential pitfalls our children can encounter online. Make sure to check out their website listed on our resources page here for more information.
Father’s as Gatekeepers of Safety
It has long been assumed that a father would play a central role in keeping the family safe. Whether it was keeping the home secure, or being the first to get up if there was a bump in the night. This is a role that is handed down through the generations.
However, the internet has meant that the criminals are not just at our front door or windows anymore – they are on our phones and iPads, via ‘free’ apps and phishing techniques.
It is more important than ever to ensure that everyone in the family carries a level of security awareness. We train our kids to lock the door, but do we train them about all terrible people out on the internet and how they are trying to get to us. Over 1 million will have their identity stolen this year and everyone in the family is a target for scammers to find a way in.
Things to Avoid
Avoid apps that let your kids chat with others
Don’t let your kids connect to any WiFi network without your permission
Don’t let your kids download apps or make in-app purchases.
Don’t allow your kids to use peer-to-peer networks.
Don’t let your kids download and play games without your consent.
Things You Should Do
Teach kids about the dangers of talking with impersonators
Teach kids about other adults pretending to be kids
Teach kids about the lack of verification on apps and how this can happen (showing that they did not have to verify anything either when they signed up themselves)
Ensure that you secure your WiFi
Install anti-virus on all devices.
Keep all devices (computers, phones, and tablets) and apps up to date.
Download apps from trusted sources only (like app stores – do not download from random weblinks).
Visit secure websites only and teach everyone in the family about https
Use parental controls on your kids’ devices and your shared accounts (e.g. streaming accounts).
Educate your family on red flags of scams and how to protect themselves.
Add all phone numbers to the Do Not Call Registry.
Make sure gaming consoles and home smart TVs have up-to-date software.
This is fatherhood…