As a Mom of teens, talking about online safety and secure passwords is part of our routine. Between Facebook and texting, our children are creating a digital media footprint all their own and we feel strongly about showing them how to do it with a long term perspective that protects their privacy every step of the way. The gateway to this conversation begins with secure passwords and here are a few tips we’ve learned along the way:
1. What: Review with your child the what a secure password actually does. Most children have online interaction at school that may require a password that all students have access too. This is your opportunity to show them why secure passwords are even more important at home. Defined by Webster’s, a password is “something that enables one to pass or gain admission: a sequence of characters required for access to a computer system.”
2. Where + Why: Review where a secure password is located and why its so important to their daily routine. Social networking is simply part of our children’s growing multi-media world. They share not just photos and texts but spend time in a much broader playground thanks to Facebook and Twitter. While they feel they are in a private space, with just a few misclicks, they can expose themselves to far more people than ever intended. Its our job to take time to teach proper safety steps to help them navigate any social space as safely as possible and having tight passwords that aren’t easily cracked make all the difference in keeping them safe. If you need help pleasing your case, simply share the latest information about Child Identify Theft.
3. Make it Tricky: The key to choosing a secure password is finding one not only unique but that is easily remembered as well. Take your child through the process of mixing letter and numbers, upper and lower case, to find a series of combinations that he or she will easily remember. Write them down along with the accounts they are tied to and keep that list in a safe place for you both to refer to should you need to retrieve them.
4. Change is Good: To keep secure passwords in place, help your child remember to change their passwords often. Weekly, bi-Weekly, or Monthly depending on your personal preference, this is a great way to stay up to date with your child about their community experience while getting an opportunity to review and make sure everything is okay.
5. Don’t Talk to Strangers: Because so many children spend time on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the sad reality is these sites have become a target for both identity theft and those who might harm our children in other ways. Require your children interact with you on these networks simply as part of the terms of their being allowed to have an account. Talk with your children often about who they are communicating with and remind them that no different than in any other space, even as they age, to not “talk” to strangers. Because their network and friends are all their own, there really shouldn’t be anything other than familiar faces in all that they see.
Our children will never know a world that isn’t communicating 24/7 on multiple platforms at any time and every turn. That means that if they aren’t careful, they can be constantly exposed to a world far more dangerous than they even realize based on how savvy they become with protecting their personal information through secure passwords and more. The facts about Identify Theft are alarming and provide all the inspiration a busy parent needs to make sure these important life skill conversations are ongoing and productive.
Just in case you are like me and always love a solid Plan B, check out the most recent and oh so awesome innovation — kID Sure℠ by Identity Guard the most comprehensive child ID theft protection available — to help families stay better protected. This kind of protection has become a necessity in today’s totally connected online environment where spyware, malware, keylogging and other online threats are only a click away. For parents, check out Identity Guard, and all the details you need to know about identity theft and how to help yourself stay safe from it. There are some great and FREE e-books to get you started right now!
I’d love to know how you handle secure passwords in your busy home ~
Do you talk with your children about them often and work together to help them create a safe social media footprint as they wander into social networking?
Disclosure: I’m honored to partner with Identity Guard and KidSure as an Ambassador this Spring. This service was provided to me for review at no charge. In addition I received monetary compensation. Working as an Ambassador could not have come at a better time in my life as a Mom as we continue to teach our teens life skills that include managing their personal information and so much more. As always all opinions are my own.