In today’s increasingly wired world, children and are becoming internet-savvy at earlier ages than ever before. For this reason, it is essential to provide your children with the guidance needed to protect your financial security both now and in the future. Here are five principles to teach your kids about financial safety online:
Credit Card Safety
As computer hacking becomes more advanced, more and more credit cards are being compromised each year because of online spending. It is vital to institute guidelines for using credit cards safely online so that children understand that they need to be careful about where they input financial information. Help youth understand when a website seems safe and like a legitimate business, and when it seems like a scam. Illustrate what could happen to them if they don’t use their finances wisely or if they give their credit card information to whoever asks.
Avoiding Game and App Purchases
It can be tempting for young children to want to purchase games online. Especially dangerous are the in-app purchases that many game developers insert into their games to encourage children to spend more. As a parent, it is your job to make sure that your child understands that this is real money that they are spending and not merely game currency. Some kids might not have the life experience or good judgment to use a credit card wisely online. To protect your credit card information, set rules about spending money online. Those rules could be they have a budget they are allowed to use that is monitored closely, or it could just be disabling those features or not giving your card information. Besides credit cards, there are other alternatives to helping kids use money safely, such as virtual credit cards, or through other money management apps.
Protection of Data
Inexperienced children need to understand that they must be cautious about protecting sensitive data when working with money online or talking to others. Should they not practice common sense data protection, they could possibly be putting you and your family at risk for identity theft.
Teaching your children how to create secure passwords is an easy way to take additional security precautions. Make sure that they understand not to choose an obvious password such as their birthdate or pet name. It is also helpful to encourage them to create longer passwords with more unique characters as an additional layer of safety. Even for websites or accounts they don’t consider to be important or critical, it’s still just as important to have good usernames and passwords.
Social Media Safety
As younger children begin using social media at even earlier ages, it is important to have serious conversations with your kids about how they need to be protective of what they put online. For example, make sure your children know to not post details of a vacation while away from home, as that might invite intruders into your home to gather secure financial information.
With a little common sense and intentional guidance, parents can help teach their children how to guard the financial security of their family. These lessons will last a lifetime and help your children as they mature toward adulthood.
As you’re teaching your children about financial security, how to protect themselves, and how to use money effectively, why don’t you check out our app! Homey is a great tool for teaching children of all ages the importance of hard work and money management. Check it out today!