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The Facts of Digital Life

Passwords are More Important than you Might Think

 Like brushing their teeth, performing chores, or learning how to drive, typing their own passwords is a rite of passage in our children’s lives.

Hard to believe, isn’t it?

Using a strong password should be an aspiration for our kids. It’s what the big girls & boys do online, after all. But we need to make sure your child is a smart Cynja and understands that growing up in cyberspace means they have a great responsibility to keep everyone, including themselves, safe online. And that starts with understanding the importance of passwords.

We bring you three points about passwords for all the kids in your life.

• Practice makes perfect. We know a four year old can’t remember a password. But that doesn’t mean they can’t watch you unlock a device or enter a password into their tablet. That’s how you become their cyber role model. They see you exhibiting safe cyber behaviors and begin to understand that secret codes are required in order to benefit from the wonders of online games and videos.

• Passwords so strong they’re called passphrases! Once a child is a little older you can start introducing the concept of creating and remembering passwords. Start simple—maybe even try using an easy password on one basic game app. Then over time increase the complexity until eventually your child is using passphrases. We think “Password Power” is a fun car game. It goes like this…you create a password and see if your kids think it has power…yes or no…if your child guesses wrong explain why…remember they must contains letters, numbers AND symbols. Then a child gets to create their password to see if you think it has power. If you’re a competitive family, keep score and hand out prizes to the person who creates the best passwords!

• Don’t share with our friends. We love the campaign that compares passwords to underpants….you don’t want to share them with your friends. So true. Because it’s tempting for young ones to want to share secrets with their latest BFF. Sadly, if they do they could be sharing possible access to your family’s online life. So we say keep the sharing password comparisons to things kids just wouldn’t want to share like their knickers, chewed up gum, or even used Kleenex. It’s just gross to share your password with someone other than your parents. That said, parents you’ll still need to change your passwords on a regular basis just in case a little one lets their secret password escape and doesn’t tell you about it.

For younger kids, we suggest creating the account in your name and not your children’s names. That way you can monitor the account and even restrict their access by changing the password.

For older kids, who are ready to experience more freedoms online, you might require a weekly check together in order for the child to maintain a password independent of you.


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