Safeguarding Your Child’s Financial Future: Teaching Online Safety in Banking and Finance

In today’s digital age, children are growing up surrounded by technology, making it essential for parents to teach them about online safety from an early age. When it comes to banking and finances, instilling good habits and awareness about online security is crucial for safeguarding their financial future.

OCU is dedicated to our members’ financial well-being and we understand the importance of empowering families with the knowledge to navigate the digital landscape safely. Here’s how parents can teach their kids of different ages about online safety in banking and finance:

Lay the Foundation: Ages 5-10

At this age, children are just beginning to understand the concept of money and technology. Start by explaining the basics of online banking and the importance of keeping personal information secure. Use simple language and real-life examples to help them grasp these concepts. Talk to them about how you keep your information safe online, like how you:

  • Never share personal information, such as passwords or account numbers, with anyone online.
  • Recognize trusted websites and apps for banking transactions.
  • Use strong, unique passwords and how you change them regularly.

Hands-On Learning: Ages 11-14

As children enter their preteen years, they become more independent online users. Take a hands-on approach to teach them about online banking security. Set up a joint bank account or a debit card linked to your account, allowing them to experience making transactions in a controlled environment. Encourage them to:

  • Review bank statements regularly to spot any unfamiliar transactions.
  • Learn about phishing scams and how to identify suspicious emails or messages.
  • Practice safe browsing habits and avoid clicking on links from unknown sources.

Foster Responsibility: Ages 15-18

Teenagers are increasingly managing their finances and making online transactions. Empower them to take responsibility for their financial security by:

  • Encouraging them to set up alerts for unusual account activity.
  • Discussing the importance of privacy settings on social media and the risks of oversharing personal information.
  • Introducing them to additional security measures like two-factor authentication and biometric authentication.

Lead by Example: All Ages

Perhaps the most effective way to teach children about online safety in banking and finance is by leading by example. Practice what you preach by demonstrating secure online behaviors, such as:

  • Using strong, unique passwords for all accounts.
  • Avoiding public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions.
  • Being cautious when sharing financial information online.

In an increasingly digital world, teaching children about online safety in banking and finance is a vital part of their financial education. By starting early, providing hands-on experiences, fostering responsibility, and leading by example, parents can empower their children to navigate the digital landscape with confidence and protect their financial well-being. At OCU, we are committed to supporting families in building a secure financial future for generations to come.

Additional Resources:

How to use online banking securely – The Government of Canada’s Centre for Cyber Security provides information about how you can safeguard yourself and your financial information when you’re online banking.

Cyber Security and Fraud Resources