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Teaching Your Children About Password Security

As all parents know, it isn’t uncommon for children to be more tech-savvy than us. With access to computers, video games, tablets, and cell phones, children are using the internet all day, every day at home and school.

That said, it is essential to teach kids the significance of password security as soon as they can use online devices or download apps on their own. It may seem a little too cautious when it comes to downloading the latest Petting Zoo app, but the first line of defense against issues like identity theft is password safety.

To begin, you need to teach your child that passwords help us to be private and need to remain a secret. If your child is old enough to create their social accounts (i.e., Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Apple ID, and so on), review the following tips:

  1. Do not use your name or birthday
    Yes, it makes it easy to remember, but it also makes it easy to guess for identity thieves.
  2. Do not use real words
    The strongest passwords are at least 15 characters, have upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Your best tool here is to use a password generator to create combinations.
  3. Do not write passwords down and throw them into your purse, wallet, or backpack
    Try using an application to generate, store, and retrieve passwords like 1Password or RoboForm.
  4. Do not use the same password for every site
    No one wants to go through the hassle of resetting their password every time they forget it, but if one account is hacked—all your accounts are hacked. No thanks!
  5. Change password often
    To make sure there is no way anyone is getting into your private online information, change your passwords once every 90 days. Of course, this may seem extreme, but keep in mind what accounts you are protecting and use your best judgement (i.e., bank accounts, business website, online store, and so on). For your kids, this will primarily affect their online banking and social media accounts.

By teaching your kids how to create smart and safe usernames and passwords, you are providing them with basic password management skills that they will use throughout their lifetime.