With the return to school, reliance on virtual learning has created many challenges for students and parents. Although many schools have provided students school-approved technology, which provide security, some students may be using personal devices. It’s important that parents are involved and aware of what children are doing online.
Security Best Practices for Virtual Learning
- Make sure anti-virus programs and security patches are up-to-date on your devices.
- Set up a separate email addresses for education apps and sites.
- Turn on parental controls.
- Check the settings for individual apps to see what sharing can be limited.
- Review your school’s website for statements about data privacy and approved apps.
- Create an optimum home learning environment free of distractions that gets a good Wi-Fi signal. It’s a good idea to make sure the space is well lit so faces can be easily viewed over video. Be aware of what goes on in the background and is being captured by the camera – for example, getting dressed, fighting, sensitive conversations.
- Encourage your school to make cybersecurity part of the curriculum.
- Set a good example, teach students basic cybersecurity, and constantly reinforce the following:
- Protect Your Personal Information: Never post personal information online.
- Be aware that deceptive contests, giveaways, and surveys are designed to collect personal information.
- Never share anything including passwords, homework, or access to services or apps – even with your closest friends.
- Check Before You Download: Talk to parents before opening an email attachment or downloading software.
- Think Before You Click: Do not click links in emails, text messages, or chat boxes from people you do not know. Be suspicious of links sent from people you know.
- Block Bullies: Tell a trusted adult if another student in your online class is making you feel uncomfortable.
- Be sure to keep your laptop or tablet close to you. Keep it in a safe place. Do not leave it unattended outside or in a public place.
- Talk to your librarian, teacher or parent about where you can go for safe and accurate websites for research.
- Use long and unique passwords/passphrases, do not re-use them, and create a different one for each account.
- Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible.