3 Easy Ways to Help Keep Kids Cyber Safe

NortonLifeLock and National PTA provide back-to-school digital safety tips
Aug 19, 2021 4:15 PM ET
Blog

By Kim Allman, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Government Affairs

There is lots to do to get to kids ready to go back to school this year. No matter what model of instruction your school is following, device time for every age group is at an all-time high (New York Times, 2021), making it more important than ever to ensure your kids understand digital safety.  

A new school year and a new teacher likely means your kids will be making new accounts in apps and programs – a prime time for hackers to steal personal information. Depending on your child’s age, they might be facing new challenges on social media as well, like cyberbullying and sexting, behaviors they might not even identify as dangerous or inappropriate.  

NortonLifeLock is the Founding and Presenting sponsor of National PTA’s PTA Connected, which partners with caregivers and families to help keep kids safe and empower them on the internet. PTA Connected is an online space that connects parents and caregivers to programs, resources, and tools around the topic of digital parenting. 

Digital safety doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are three easy things you can do today to get your kids ready to go back to school: 

  1. Turn on automatic updates for all apps and programs on your children’s devices. If you’re looking for quick and easy ways to increase Cyber Safety, look no further! Simply turn on automatic updates on laptops, tablets, and smartphones so that malware and viruses are instantly blocked. Malware lets hackers infect devices and this one simple step will keep the majority of hackers at bay. 

  2. Set up lock screens on phones and tablets. This is especially true for older children who might have devices in public places. Phones contain a lot of personal information and, without a lock screen, provide criminals with easy access to this data. A lock screen won’t stop every criminal, but will increase the odds of being protected.  

  3. Try the Smart Talk with your family to prepare for the school year. The Smart Talk is a free, fun tool designed to initiate conversations between children and their parents about digital safety. After a series of guided questions, participants are provided with a contract that they can print, sign, and hang up so that everyone remembers the agreed-upon rules. 

Want more digital safety tips? NortonLifeLock and National PTA held a “Back to School” Facebook Live yesterday. National PTA President Anna King joined Kevin Alejandro Roundy, Senior Technical Director at Norton Labs, and me. We presented additional Cyber Safety tips to families navigating the new school year. 

Watch the video recap here

Thanks to National PTA for hosting and to Anna King for leading this important discussion! We wish you all a safe and successful back-to-school season.