In 2013, global businesses recorded nearly 30 million significant security breaches, and that number has grown 33% on average each year since.
Hearing a stat like this, it’s easy to assume that all victims would be adults. But that’s not the case.
One of the worst cyberattacks of 2015 was on toy firm VTech. Personal information like IP addresses, names, birthdates, and gender was stolen from over 11 million accounts, most of which belonged to children.
UKnowKids, a software that’s meant to allow parents to monitor their children’s communication and whereabouts, was also targeted by a cyberattack just a few years ago. Over 1700 accounts were compromised, exposing children’s full names, birthdates, GPS coordinates, text messages, and images.
The internet can be a scary place if you’re ill-equipped, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead, learn how to keep their information safe online, and make sure they understand how important it is to be careful.
Use a VPN to keep location information hidden
A virtual private network (or VPN) uses an encrypted connection to keep your data safe by connecting to an offsite, secure server. This offers two complementary benefits for protecting your family.
First, by encrypting your connection, the VPN ensures that you’re protected from having your information intercepted on any dodgy public networks. Secondly, it prevents your location from being tracked by masking your IP address.
Along with this, of course, make sure your kids know not to tag their location in any Facebook or Instagram posts.
Educate your kids about online safety
If your kids are using a computer, they should understand the basics of staying safe, no matter how old they are. Teach them to never give away their personal information, and show them any security programs that you run on the computer. Make sure they understand how important it is to let you know if something strange happens online, and that you won’t be angry.
Our friends over at TELUSWise offer detailed, age-specific educational content about staying safe online, as well as resources on cyberbullying, and all for free! From elementary school to high school grad, there’s content to suit every stage.
Find out which companies handle your children’s personal information
Take a moment to think about any companies that can access your kid’s data without you giving it directly to them. Does your school partner with any vendors that require personal information? Who does your school partner with for picture day?
Unfortunately, there has been a rise in North American schools being targeted in cyberattacks due to the government funding that exists. Make sure your school knows how important it is that they partner with vendors that help them mitigate their risk of an attack.
Here at Edge Imaging, we prioritize the data security of the students we photograph and have made a significant investment in this ongoing commitment.