As the academic year begins, a majority of students across the U.S. will be back online as school districts contend with how to teach during a pandemic. Distance learning can introduce troubling cyber security challenges.
“Security is always a major concern when conducting online activities,” says Elena Mauer, consumer safety editor at SecurityNerd.com, an online resource that educates and empowers consumers about home security solutions.
SecurityNerd.com recommends these tips to minimize eLearning dangers:
1. THINK BEFORE CLICKING. Threats are changing by the hour and are extremely sophisticated. Ask children to approach every email with caution – the message may look right, but the messenger may not be. Ask children to pause and check with a parent before they open any email, click on links or open any attachments.
2. VERIFY DOMAIN NAMES AND EMAIL SENDERS. If a child does have to access email, talk with them about how to identify proper sources and senders. Check the URL before typing it in a browser or clicking a link. Help them to recognize spelling errors, altered graphics and logos as signs something isn’t right. When you spot a phishing email, show it to your child and point out how you knew it was a fake.
3. USE BETTER PASSWORDS. Make sure everyone in the house is using sufficiently complex passwords that are unique to the key accounts, and never let children use passwords associated with parents’ online accounts. Increasingly, people are turning to password managers to keep their accounts safe, since it can be difficult to remember many long and strong passwords. These managers generate random passwords and allow access with a single master password.
4. MONITOR THEM. During these unprecedented times, monitoring children’s online behavior should be a daily task. Don’t worry about being a helicopter parent – set restrictions and enable parental controls to limit what kids can access. Look at internet history, app usage and know what programs and apps school is requiring to ensure children are downloading the correct versions. Establish rules about app shopping. Require children to run any app purchases by a parent or adult.
Here’s additional tips to keep kids safe online: https://securitynerd.com/online-safety-quarantine/
SecurityNerd.com is an online resource that educates and empowers consumers with knowledge about home security solutions to make smart buying decisions. Nationally recognized home security and safety expert Officer James Banta leads a team of product reviewers, journalists, and consumer advocates in providing timely content on reviews of security systems, wireless products, cameras, lighting and safety lifestyle tips to keep individuals and families safe. To learn more, please visit SecurityNerd.com.