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Resources > Cyberattacks > Cybersecurity for Kids—Everything You Need To Know

Cybersecurity for Kids—Everything You Need To Know

While technology opens up opportunities for learning and connecting, it also introduces risks like online predators, privacy threats, and cyberbullying. As a parent, your job is to empower your children with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the internet safely. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about cybersecurity for kids, including explaining cybersecurity to a child, monitoring their online activity, and implementing safety tips to keep them secure online.

What Is Cybersecurity for Kids?

Cybersecurity for kids refers to the practice of teaching children essential knowledge on how to stay safe and secure while using the internet and digital devices. It involves safeguarding children from various online threats, including malware, online predators, cyberbullying, phishing, and identity theft.

This proactive approach equips them with the skills necessary to recognize and respond to online dangers, make secure choices when using the internet, and understand the importance of privacy and data protection in the digital world.

Why Cybersecurity Education Is Crucial for Children

As children spend more and more time online, teaching them about cybersecurity has never been more important. Here are three reasons why cybersecurity education should begin from an early age:

  1. Being aware of online risks
  2. Recognizing scams and spams
  3. Protecting personal information

Being Aware of Online Risks

Children need to understand the potential dangers of the internet, such as online predators, cyberbullying, and identity theft. Learning about online risks will make them more cautious and help them develop safer online habits.

Recognizing Scams and Spam

Children are often targets of online scams and spam because they’re more trusting and less skeptical. Teaching children how to spot phishing emails, malicious links, and fake websites will make them less vulnerable to fraud and hacking.

Protecting Personal Information

It’s crucial for children to learn that they should never share personal details like passwords, addresses, and phone numbers with strangers online. Cybersecurity education will help teach them how to keep their personal information private.

How To Teach Young Kids About Cybersecurity

As children get older and start using technology more independently, it’s important to find age-appropriate ways to teach them cybersecurity basics. As your children grow, the methods and areas of focus of their cybersecurity education will change.

Ages 8–12

For younger children, focus on online safety and privacy:

  • Set clear rules for internet usage and monitor their online activity. Install parental control software if needed
  • Teach them not to share personal information like full name, address, passwords, or location on websites, games, or apps. Encourage them to use nicknames and avatars when possible
  • Warn them about online scams and tricks to get information like phishing emails, malicious links, and fake ‘free’ gift offers. Tell them to ask an adult first before clicking on anything suspicious
  • Explain that others can see anything they share online and that it may never be fully deleted, so they should think twice before posting photos, comments, or messages

Ages 13–18

For teens, cover more technical aspects:

  • Discuss using strong, unique passwords for accounts and enabling two-factor authentication when available. Show them how to create secure passwords
  • Teach them to be cautious of public Wi-Fi networks, as these may allow others to see their online activity or personal information. Encourage the use of VPNs when possible
  • Explain different types of cybercrimes like online identity theft, identity fraud, and scams so they can spot malicious attempts. Tell them to report anything suspicious to an adult immediately

Education and open communication are the best ways to help children learn cybersecurity basics. Set a good example through your technology use and keep the conversation going as they become more independent online.

Interactive Cybersecurity Training for Kids

Children can have fun while learning about cybersecurity through interactive activities and games. Here are three options you can try:

  1. Online games
  2. Educational videos
  3. Discussions and debates

Online Games

There are many free games available online to help teach children cybersecurity basics. For example, some games let players go on fun missions to thwart hackers while learning how to spot phishing emails and use strong passwords. These games make learning interactive and more exciting for children.

Educational Videos

Adding videos to the learning process can be helpful, too. Videos offer visual examples of key concepts, making the content more interesting and easier to grasp. Check out the videos from Cyberchase, an award-winning animated math and problem-solving adventure series. Episodes cover topics like:

  • Passwords
  • Online privacy
  • Internet safety

Children will love the fun characters and stories, making the experience more memorable.

Discussions and Debates

Have conversations with children about important cybersecurity topics. Discuss real-world examples of data breaches, scams, and cybercrimes. With teenagers, you can even debate the ethics of issues like mass government surveillance or companies tracking users’ online behaviors. Through open discussions, children can develop a deeper understanding of cybersecurity and how it relates to them.

Resources for Ongoing Cybersecurity Education

Many great resources are available to help children continue learning about online safety and security. Here are a few of the best:

  1. US Cyber Challenge’s (USCC) Cyber Quests
  2. K-12 Computer Science Framework
  3. StopBullying.gov
  4. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

US Cyber Challenge’s (USCC) Cyber Quests

USCC’s Cyber Quests teaches cybersecurity concepts and skills through interactive online challenges and games. Your child can complete quests covering topics like cryptography, networking, and digital forensics to earn badges and qualify for scholarships and other prizes.

K-12 Computer Science Framework

The K-12 Computer Science Framework provides standards and guidance for teaching cybersecurity in schools. The framework outlines concepts and skills students should learn at each grade level, from kindergarten to high school. Many schools have adopted these standards to strengthen their computer science programs. To find a guideline for your child, visit K-12 Computer Science and sign up.


StopBullying.gov is a government website with resources for children, parents, and schools to prevent cyberbullying. The resources that help children learn how to recognize, report, and respond to cyberbullying are available on their website, which offers presentations, webisodes, and toolkits to spread awareness.

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

PBS offers educational media to help children develop cyber smarts. The resources on PBS accommodate multiple age groups, so you’ll definitely find something for your child. Children can watch episodes on cybersecurity topics like strong passwords, internet scams, and online privacy. PBS also provides classroom resources, activities, and parent guides to support the show’s messaging.

Cybersecurity Training Topics for Kids

Cybersecurity training for children should cover key topics to help them build good habits and learn how to protect themselves from some of the most common cybersecurity threats. Some of the most important areas to focus on include:

  1. Passwords and accounts
  2. Malware and phishing
  3. Privacy and sharing

Passwords and Accounts

Teach children to use strong, unique passwords for their online accounts and enable two-factor authentication whenever available. Explain how reusing the same password across sites and services puts them at risk of all their accounts being compromised if hackers get hold of a single password. You should also instruct them to log out of accounts and services when they’ve finished using them.

Malware and Phishing

Educate children about the dangers of malware like viruses, worms, ransomware, and spyware. Explain how to spot phishing emails and malicious links and warn them not to click on links, download software, or share personal information unless they’ve verified the source. Run anti-malware software on all devices and keep it up to date.

Privacy and Sharing

Talk to children about what information is okay to share online (and with whom) and show them how to adjust privacy settings. Warn them about oversharing on social media and explain how their personal information can be collected and used against them.

If appropriate, monitor accounts to ensure they don’t share personal details online. For extra peace of mind, consider signing up for an identity protection service like FreeKick to ensure your child is safe when browsing online.

FreeKick—Identity Monitoring and Credit Building for Your Children (Coming Soon)

FreeKick provides an FDIC-insured deposit account, grants access to premium identity protection for your family, and builds a strong credit profile for your children to give them a headstart in life.

When you sign up for FreeKick, you gain access to a comprehensive set of services that monitor, protect, and restore the identities of your family members. If you have more than one child, you don’t need to worry—the identity protection services cover up to two parents and six children aged 0 to 25, while the credit-building features cover up to six children aged 14 to 25.

Identity Protection Services

FreeKick protects your child from increased cybersecurity threats through its identity protection features for minors, adult children, and parents.

To reduce the risk of child identity theft, identity protection services for minors include:

  • Credit profile monitoring 
  • Social Security number monitoring 
  • Dark web monitoring for children’s personal information 
  • Up to $1 million identity theft insurance 
  • Full-service white-glove concierge credit restoration 
  • Sex offender monitoring—based on sponsor parent’s address

Parents and adult children will get access to the following protection services:

  • Credit profile monitoring
  • Social Security number monitoring
  • Dark web monitoring for personal information
  • Up to $1 million identity theft insurance
  • Full-service white-glove concierge credit restoration 
  • Lost wallet protection
  • Court records monitoring
  • Change of address monitoring
  • Non-Credit (Payday) loan monitoring
  • Free FICO® Score monthly
  • FICO® Score factors
  • Experian credit report monthly

Credit-Building Features

FreeKick provides more than just identity monitoring—it serves as a pathway to improve the future creditworthiness of your children aged 14–25. Building a good credit history for your child early in life can save them more than $200,000 over their lifetime.

When your child turns 14, you can activate credit building for them in your account dashboard. Once they turn 18, they can activate credit reporting to start having their credit history reported with the major credit bureaus. Here’s how the process works:

  1. Create an Account—Visit FreeKick.bank to create an account by making a one-time FDIC-insured deposit
  2. Set It and Forget It—Choose a plan based on your deposit, and your child’s credit will start automatically building over the next 12 months
  3. Keep Growing—After the 12-month term expires, you can renew for another 12 months and keep building your child’s credit profile, or close the account and get 100% of your deposit back

FreeKick Pricing

FreeKick offers plans for all budgets—you can get started with just a $10 deposit and a small annual fee and build your child’s credit score while also protecting their identity. All deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Take a look at FreeKick’s plans you can choose from:

FDIC-Insured DepositPlan Fee
$3,000$0 (Free)

Jumpstart your child’s financial journey while securing their identity online—sign up for FreeKick today.