Wellbeing

3 Ways Parents Can
Boost Their Family’s
Digital Security

Protect the entire household with this digital-security game plan.

Father and son lay in bed on their bellies as the father holds a dark grey smartphone in landscape mode. Both the father and son smile as they gaze into the phone's display as if they're watching a show at home.

Parents are protective, with good reason. Kids are better at putting themselves in harm’s way than your average extreme athlete. But while playing defense on all those scrapes, bruises and brushes with bigger injuries, parents are missing another, less visible threat: the internet. Sure, it makes our lives easier in so many ways, but it can also make your family vulnerable. In other words, digital security matters as much as a bike helmet or elbow pads.

The good news is that establishing protective measures is relatively simple. To keep your family’s private information out of the wrong hands, you need to secure possible openings in your personal and private information. Start with the big three: parental controls, passwords, and app use. By shoring up your defenses both on and offline, you can keep everyone in your family digitally secure.

Two women are smiling as they sit on a couch. The one on the left has her left arm bent, supporting the side of her head. They are both looking down at a younger woman lying horizontally across their laps while holding up a black smartphone.
1

Parental controls are the front line for a family’s digital security

When it comes to protecting your family online, there’s a lot to juggle. Parents need to keep an eye on their own security gaps, sure, but also need to oversee their child’s internet use. Monitoring screen time, internet access, age-inappropriate content, not to mention problematic social interactions over chat (bullying or being bullied) is, well, a lot.

Time to bring in the parental controls. With apps like Boomerang Parental Control, powered by Samsung Knox, parents can keep a watchful eye on their kids — screening calls, tracking movements and monitoring inappropriate texts — without having to grill them constantly. But don’t just set it and forget it. Parents should be active in approving the apps they download and keeping an eye on screen time (both the amount and where the kids spend it). Furthermore, it’s also important to supplement online parental controls with real face-to-face conversations. Ask the kids what their online experience is like, including what’s great about it and what areas they find difficult to navigate. After all, strong communication will always be the most effective and thorough parental control.

Man is sitting on a couch in front of a large window. He is holding a mug close to his face as if he is about to sip a beverage while checking his smartphone with the other hand.
2

Digital security for all your accounts relies on a strong password

Most parents juggle a myriad of accounts to plan for their family’s future — savings and retirement accounts — to after-school portals and parenting listservs. Keeping tabs on the privacy of all these accounts starts with two things: a login and password. This is where security starts.

The most important step is to choose strong passwords (with numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as symbols) and use different ones for every account. To keep all of those in line, you’ll want a password manager, which can keep all your logins and passwords in one place and remind you to change your password regularly. Apps will even suggest strings of letters and symbols and numbers that you would never come up with yourself — all the better for security. And when you use password manager apps or log into your accounts, be sure to do so on a device that is itself protected. A Galaxy A50 smartphone protected with Knox comes with securities like app-permission monitoring and at-rest data encryption that meet U.S. government and military requirements.

A young girl in a pink sweater holds a black Galaxy phone in portrait mode with both hands. She smiles as she looks at the screen as if she's watching a show.
Keep apps in check
The Galaxy S20 secured by Samsung Knox uses app isolation security to prevent rogue apps – like those your kid might download – from accessing unauthorized data.*
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3

Protecting your kids means watching out for phishing

For children especially, the internet is a place where they can learn about anything instantly. But all that connectivity has one potential downside: Bad actors can use phishing to take advantage of any app, game or website your child regularly uses or happens to visit. Say your child sees a “pop-up ad” promising free t-shirts or game tokens that convinces them to give away their passwords. A phisher can then take over their account, gaining full access to your kid’s personal information, any credit card attached to their account and any other private data they (or you) provided. Needless to say, the free shirt never arrives.

To prevent this, parents need to brush up on protection protocols for the tablets and phones that their kids use. In addition to having parental controls installed and privacy measures in place, it’s important to talk to your kids about staying safe on the internet and to have those conversations early and often. Be sure they know what they should never share with a stranger — their address, their full name, the names of their family members — and to tell an adult (i.e., you) if someone asks for it.

Availability of features vary by carrier and country.

Digital security for parents starts here

A family’s online protection starts with smart, secure devices.

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