We talk to a lot of parents who ask what they should do about the security and privacy issues that go hand-in-hand with their kids’ online lives. It’s really tough for parents these days. It’s not just the keeping up with the Joneses aspect of children pressuring us to following the latest and greatest trend (think pet rocks, Simon Says, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Jordache jeans, Beanie Babies, Tickle Me Elmo, My Little Pony, Air Jordans, ____________ (fill in the blank)), it’s that the must-have things are smart devices with 24/7 access to literally everything that’s available online – not to mention the immediacy and the now! aspects of social media.
(It seems that the “if Billy jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?” argument that so many generations of parents used to let their kids know that they weren’t going to get “it” – whatever the latest “it” happened to be – isn’t in favor, anymore.)
Today’s busy parents are looking for a silver bullet that will solve their security problems. They want the product or software bundle that will guarantee that junior will be safe. The thing is that security and privacy are as much a mindset as they are appropriate settings on a device, or a new software title.
… and you’re the captain of the team.
One of the mental hurdles we have when thinking about our children’s security is imagining that someone out there would want to hurt them. So we sort of plod along as parents – thinking that there’s plenty of time for all that nasty security stuff.
We gloss over or ignore basic precautions because we think that by doing so we’re keeping away the harsh realities of the world. We like to believe that because our children are young (and innocent of the ways of the world), so are their requirements for security and privacy.
It’s only natural that we don’t want our children to grow up too fast, but that’s no excuse to play peekaboo (I can’t see you) with the very real risks that are waiting for them online.
Unlike driving a car (and yelling at the drivers who cut you off), voting and having a sip of champagne on New Year’s Eve, security is not a wait until you grow up sort of thing.
So what’s a parent to do?
Sticky Password recommends using a password manager to manage all your unique passwords and passphrases. In addition to creating and remembering your passwords for you, Sticky Password will fill in online forms for you.