Communicating with tweens and teens can be super challenging. Some prefer to simply grunt, others go with the monosyllabic strategy and the rest will only speak if it’s about food!
I find that I really only have a few minutes a day to share ‘key agenda items’ with my teen boys and it is usually when I have them captive around the dinner table – without electronic devices!!
So, with Change Your Password Day happening in May (and my job as Cybermum), I thought I should check in with my four boys about their passwords.
Well – part of me wishes that I hadn’t. Number One son (and his friends) seem to think it is OK to ‘share’, Number Two son has never once changed his, Number Three son writes his on a piece of paper BUT Number Four son assures me he changes his regularly – I just hope he is telling the truth!!
Immediately I sprang into Cyber Educator mode and made my boys play the ‘Password Game’ that forms part of the Life Education and McAfee bCyberwise* program – after they had finished their chicken fried rice!
In the Password Game, students stand in a straight line at the back of a room. The teacher (or their mother) then asks a series of questions about their password. Depending on their answers, they move forward or backward. The student that ‘wins’ is the one that is closest to the front (and has the most secure password!)
Here are some of the questions:
- If you change your password at least every six months, then take three steps forward
- If you let your friends use your password, take four steps backwards
- If your password includes letters, numbers and symbols, take three steps forward
- If your password is a word in the dictionary, take two steps back
After some intense debate, many appeals and no real clear winner, I decided that everyone had some work to do BUT everyone could have some dessert!
So, next time you get a ‘window’ with your kids, ask them about their passwords. When was the last time they changed them? Does it contain their nickname? Do they share it?
And if your teens fall into the grunting category (mine often do) and you literally have 30 seconds, just share this one ‘hot tip’:
‘Passwords are like toothbrushes, they just can’t be shared!’
Till Next time,
*bCyberwise is a new cyber education module, developed by McAfee and Life Education. Launched in January by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the program is now available to all Aussie school children through Healthy Harold and the popular Life Education program. For more information, please visit McAfee CyberEd and Life Education.