Time for Back to School – Time to Educate and Protect
It’s that time of year again where yours kids are about to go back to school (hopefully in person this time). However, with school comes homework, essays, and tests to study for which inevitably will require access to a computer of some sort. So how do you make sure your kids are prepared for the potential cyber threats that may be waiting for them this year? With the advent of online learning it is important now more than ever that kids are prepared when going back to school.
What Are Some Of The Risks?
Most students will have some kind of student email they can use to contact faculty and teachers from their school and while this make is super convenient for students to ask questions and submit homework it also opens to up to phishing attacks.
Phishing attacks are simply sent though an email asking the recipient to click on a link. This link could send the user to a fake website asking for login credentials or other sensitive information. Oftentimes cyber criminals will disguise themselves as popular brands like Amazon or a video game they like to gain trust. The emails will typically contain language that prompts a response ASAP by using phrasing like “Your action is needed immediately” or “Failing to comply will result in account deletion”. This is intended to scare users into taking action without thinking.
That being said making sure your kids know what a potential phishing email can look like will go a long way in protecting them. In addition telling your children to read emails carefully and never respond to something out of the ordinary.
Strong passwords go a long way in protecting your private information. Especially during the school year your children will be logging into and signing up for multiple applications in order to take tests or submit work. Making sure that those accounts are protected by good passwords makes sure your data is safe. After all 67% of data breaches come from weak and reused passwords so making sure your passwords are unique and vary across apps is super important.
Not Updating Apps
As previously mentioned your children are going to be using multiple programs and apps on their computer and with that will come many updates. Even on your children’s smart phone they’ll be using apps that require frequent updates. While it may be tempting to hit that “update later” button it can be very dangerous to have apps running on a previous update as it is much easier for criminals to exploit back doors in older versions of an app. In addition the next update for your app could be in response to an already existing hack or updated security features and not updating it could cause your to unknowingly make yourself a victim.
What Can A Parent Do?
Parents can do quite a bit when it comes to educating and protecting their kids while they’re online. The easiest step you can take is educating them on what threats are on the internet and what they can do to limit who can contact them or access their data. Making sure they follow practical cyber security steps can go a long way in reducing their risk of attacks. Especially if students have to go back to virtual it is more important than ever to make sure they know the risks of the technology they rely on. Make sure you’re kids are prepared when they go back to school.
Corporate Information Technologies provides small to mid-market organizations with expert I.T. services including compliance assessment, cybersecurity penetration tests, and comprehensive business continuity planning services. Corporate Information Technologies can help organizations, quantify, create, refine, and mitigate the risks presented by business threatening disasters in whatever form they may be disguised.
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