One of the first things you will need to teach your child when they set up their first email – or social media – account, is about the importance of using a strong, secure password and keeping it safe.

 

This means teaching them how to create a strong password that cannot be easily guessed or worked out by others. On the other hand, it is also important to educate your children not to reveal their passwords, even amongst their close friends. Sharing your password can potentially lead to online bullying, abuse and identify theft.

 

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

You should use a strong password – preferably one that you can remember. Avoid future online problems by teaching your kids these basic tips for creating a strong password:

 

    1. Never give your passwords to others. There can be serious consequences when you disclose passwords to other
      Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

      Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

      people; even if they are someone you think you can trust. Someone could use your email or social media accounts for improper, immoral or illegal purposes. An exception would be for you, as a parent, to have access to their passwords so you can monitor what your child is doing online.

 

    1. Never use personal information, like birthdays and ages that can be easily guessed. Nor should you use your own name, user name, the name of relative, your address, or pet. Avoid common patterns of letters or sequences of numbers. Instead, passwords should consist of a mixture of upper case and lower case letters, numbers, characters, and symbols. It should always be new and unique and not one that the web suggests.

 

    1. Change your password from time-to-time. This will stop someone who has got hold of your password from gaining access to your accounts over a period of time.

 

    1. Avoid writing down your passwords in notebooks, calendars or diaries or storing them in your phone. Doing so means that you might give access to others unknowingly. If you need to store your passwords, you are better using password management software, such as LastPass or 1Password.

 

    1. Young boys and girls should be advised to use public computers only for anonymous web browsing. Do not use such computers for accounts that ask for user names and passwords. It is easy to buy keystroke login gadgets for a cheap price and use these to obtain information that has been keyed in on a public PC with the help of the Internet.

 

  1. Finally, kids should be reminded to refrain from giving away their passwords in answer to an email request. This can be a phishing scam or fraudulent act. Be wary even of trusted websites that children visit frequently, since scammers can create false email messages with logos and details copied from authentic portals. Talk through with them how to recognize such scams.

 

If your children are having trouble with creating their own passwords that are easy to remember, here is a fun password generator specifically for youngsters to help them create passwords that are not easy to break.

 

Further Reading

 

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Tips-for-creating-a-strong-password

 

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