Students in the USA and Canada are officially back to school. However, while the times are certainly exciting for youngsters, the reliance on technology has created a list of possible pitfalls that could easily be avoided. Students of all ages in school generally receive IT support, but sometimes things that are obvious for some may not be as evident to others, and students must do their part to maintain a safe environment too. With this in mind, we’ve decided to compile a quick list of cyber security tips that will not only keep children away from trouble but also help them take better care of their essential tech products.
Anonymous internet browsing and behavior no longer exist. Children must realize that whatever they post on social media or school forums would likely reach more people than yelling through the window. It is vital to make it clear that they should act as appropriate online as they usually do in real life. Digital prints they left in the form of comments and videos as teenagers may be associated with them forever.
The rise of technology has made it possible for people of all ages to communicate efficiently. While staying in touch with teachers and fellow students is essential for class work, this relaxed way of direct communication has made it easy for bullies to pester other children virtually. Highlighting that such incidents need to be reported is a must.
The fear of Covid-19 is slowly but steadily fading away, and more and more students are returning to physically attending schools. Normalcy for the students is welcome after two hard years, but this also means that children will be away from parents, which gives more time for predators lurking around. Educating children about online predators is undoubtedly conversation parents and guardians should discuss with the little ones.
Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication
Passwords that could easily be guessed should not be used anywhere, including in schools. Maintaining good password hygiene and using multi-factor authentication (MFA) is necessary. Different schools offer different types of MFA, but students should always take advantage of such cyber security tools when provided by educational institutions.
Hackers are targeting schools – phishing campaigns, malware attacks, and other malicious codes developed by hackers reach students via email, social media, text, private chats, etc. Knowing the basics, such as not opening links that look unfamiliar, must be mentioned to students as sometimes children, and even adults, fall for such scams.
Many antivirus software solutions offer some protection that could benefit children of all ages. For example, parents can take advantage of parental controls that allow them to monitor their children’s digital life. Such software also sometimes offers tools such as password managers to help youngsters stay ahead in the cyber game. It also sometimes gives a VPN option for students who need a bit of privacy. Whatever the reason, having another layer of security on all connected devices is essential. IT departments do their best to maintain good cyber security levels, but students must play along and do their part too.