From the Malwarebytes blog on February 2, 2023, Cybersecurity and privacy tips you can teach your 5+-year-old:

As mobile devices have become an indispensable part of a child’s life, a big question stands: What is the “appropriate” age to start teaching your little one about their security and privacy when using those devices?

My eyes glazed over when I stumbled across this headline. I clicked against my better instincts. Sadly, I must report that the content is largely in line with the headline. After briefly noting that maybe sticking toddlers in front of phones, tablets, and laptops all day is unwise, the article segues into “well other people are doing it so how do you teach your kid cybersecurity and privacy?” Your kid can barely read. Who cares? If your 5-year old (I’ll use that age instead of the plus since that is the proverbial clickbait here) needs to be practicing sound online security and privacy, you have already failed. I vaguely considered writing a full article, but I decided that doing so would encourage this inanity. However, I must note two of the five tips that tickled me.


Your five-year-old may have access to either the Google Play or Apple App stores via the device you’re letting them use. Whether you have parental controls set up for these stores or not, wouldn’t it be great to hear them ask: “Is this okay to download, mum?”

No. No it would  not. It would not be great at all. Moreover, if you’re allowing your child to have unfettered access to app stores, I do not want to hear your whining when the situation turns sideways. I had a Sega Genesis when I was five. It is not as if I had no technology at all. But what I did not have was an app store. That would have been dumb. I was five.


Kiddo loves having her picture taken. Sometimes, she would ask me to take a snap and send it to her Nana, who is part of an Instagram group.

This kid is going to be a handful when he or she gets his or her own social media account

But with that being said, instead of instilling the virtues of not oversharing on social media, why not avoid social media here? Just send the photo directly to Nana. If Nana can use Instagram from her phone, she can probably open messages. Why do we need Facebook, Meta, or whatever it calls itself these days to share photos of children with family members? At least this account is private, but that’s but a small fig leaf.