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Cyber Security for kids

It’s never too early to start learning about cyber security!

The hero - A guide for kids

The internet has enabled kids to learn, share and create like never before. But it has also become a space for cybercriminals to cause trouble and steal from others.

It’s important to instil cyber secure behaviours from an early age to help children learn how to identify cyber threats and how to mitigate them.

Calling Parents and Carers!

Parents and carers play an important role in helping children stay secure online.

What can you do?

Protect your family from cybercriminals by teaching your child how to be secure online by implementing these 5 simple steps:

  • Step 1. Update your device

    Updated devices are harder to hack and have newer features.

  • Step 2. Turn on multi-factor authentication

    Turn on multi-factor authentication (MFA) to protect your important accounts with extra login steps.

  • Step 3: Back up your device

    A back up is a digital copy of your most important information.

  • Step 4: Use a passphrase

    Passphrases are the more secure version of passwords. Passphrase uses four or more random words as your password. For example, ‘purple duck boat sky’.

  • Step 5: Recognise and report scams

    Beating cybercriminals takes teamwork.

    If you receive a fishy email or message, report it to Scamwatch straight away. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    Cybercriminals are crafty and might use a name and address you know, but follow your instinct. The faster you report the scam, the quicker we can act. Go to Scamwatch and visit the ReportCyber page on our website.

Resources 

Examples of cyber threats

The internet makes it easy to communicate, play and create with friends! But not everyone online is friendly and spotting the difference between friend and foe can be hard. The examples below show real examples of how cybercriminals are targeting teenagers online.

Case Study 1

Fourteen-year-old Summer from WA thought she had made a new friend on Discord, a popular online communication platform.

The friends played Minecraft together and would chat in-game and over Discord.

The friend shared some new code he was working on to Summer to review. Although Summer was suspicious, she decided to trust her new friend and downloaded the code to her device.

After downloading the code, the friend gained access to Summer’s personal information, which they started sending and sharing to others, putting Summer at greater risk of identity theft, stalking and harassment online.   

Case Study 2

Thirteen-year-old Jai from Victoria received an Instagram message from someone he thought was a friend containing a link. Jai clicked on the link which led to a blank page.

Five minutes after clicking on the link, Jai was logged out of his Instagram account and could not get back in.

The link was sent by a cybercriminal, who now had access to Jai’s account.

The cybercriminal began messaging Jai’s friends about a bitcoin scam and sending out more malicious links.

Jai made a new account and sent a message to the cybercriminal who had access to his old account. The cybercriminal asked Jai to take a video of himself claiming the bitcoin scam was real and profitable which would be sent to Jai’s friend. In return, the cybercriminal would give Jai access to his old account.

Jai refused to make this video and was blocked by the cybercriminal.

To limit this damage

Recognise:

Not everyone using social media or gaming platforms are who they say they are. Encourage your child to take a moment to check if they know the person, and if they are don’t, to ask for your guidance. Teach your child to not click on links or download files from people they don’t know. If unsure if an account is their friend, they should ask for guidance and check with them offline.

Report:

If you or your child receive an unusual email or message, report it. Go to Scamwatch and visit the ACSC’s ReportCyber. The faster you report the scam, the quicker you can act.

Prevention is key!

Download the ACSC’s Cyber Security Instruction Manual: A kid's guide to using the internet securely to learn 5 easy steps you can teach your kid to help them stay secure online.

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