Cybersecurity: Keeping Children Safe

January 27, 2023

There are basic lessons children need to learn early in life to ensure their safety. Look both ways before crossing the road. Wear seatbelts. Avoid talking to strangers. Don’t wander off alone…

As our world has continued to evolve, moving further into an era of rapidly developing technology, it’s time to highlight another safety concern, one we all know exists, yet does not always take priority when it comes to the protection of children - cyber security.

What is cyber security?

Most people have a vague idea of what cyber security is but do we realise the extent of it, and more importantly, how to prevent ourselves, and our children, from falling victim?

The Education Network defines cyber security as:

Cyber security is about protecting the devices we all use and the services we access online - both at home and work - from theft or damage.

It’s also about preventing unauthorised access to the vast amounts of personal information we store on these devices and online.

Children and the internet

Did you know that children aged between 8-18 spend on average, 7 hours and 30 minutes per day


If a child sleeps 8 hours per night, that means ONE HALF of the time that he or she is awake is spent on a device.

Given that children are often less aware of certain dangers online, it’s not surprising that they are often an easy target for issues such as:

– Cyber Predators

– Cyber Bullying

– Identity Theft

Cyber Tips for Kids

As adults, most of us know the risks online and use the internet safely to go about our day-to-day business. But do we speak to children enough about online dangers?

Here are some top tips to generate a discussion around online safety with your child.

  • Keep your personal information private; avoid sharing your name, address, telephone number, birthday, passwords, and the name of your school when using the Internet.
  • Think twice before you post or say anything online; once it is in cyberspace, it’s out there forever.
  • Treat others like you want to be treated.
  • Speak up. If you see something inappropriate, let the website know and tell an adult you trust. Don’t stand for bullying—online or off.
  • If you have your own email account, let your parents know if you ever receive an email that asks for your personal information. Some emails look official, as if they were sent from a club or school, but they could be a trick to get your personal information. Fake emails usually seem urgent and ask you to respond with your private information.
  • Choose a screen name or email address that isn't your real name to protect your identity. For instance, instead of "Jack Smith," why not choose "Sk8boardKing75?"
  • Create strong passwords with eight characters or more that use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t share your passwords with anyone.
  • Think before you click – don’t open emails from strangers and don’t click on links for unfamiliar sites.
  • Use and check your privacy settings on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Useful websites for you and your child to explore the world of online safety:

Written by: Robert Macdonald, Year 6 Teacher, RBIS International School