As part of my Cybersecurity Best Practices course, I talk about kids. For example, I suggest that you don’t log into work on the same computer that your kids use to play Fortnite. I suggest that no matter how savvy you think your kids are, they have likely introduced a large amount of malware into whatever system they work on inside your home.

But this week, I began to learn that I was making assumptions about what the kids knew. The nine year old couldn’t care less about phones or computers except that she can play music on them and occasionally chat with her friends. But the twelve year old had many, many misconceptions about how things worked:

But will yours? Would you ever have thought to tell your own child not to turn on his or her hotspot for another person? Or to make sure to lock the phone, always, when leaving it alone. We make these huge assumptions about our kids, because they are growing up in a connected world. But they are still children, and they don’t know everything there is to know about keeping themselves and their devices secure.

As for the five year old, he has learned a little bit about cybersecurity, but he doesn’t know enough to bring it to a good conclusion. Give him time.

Do you have anything to add? Let me know! We know so much about locking down devices, protecting our kids from sites they should not see, and keeping them away from predators, but we need to learn from each other’s mistakes and teach our kids about how things work so that they don’t make mistakes that will cost them (and their parents) in the future.

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