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Cybersecurity at Home: 3 Simple Ways to Protect Your Kids During Online Learning

Over 2 million students enroll in charter schools nationally every year, accounting for 5.4% of total public school enrollment. However, with many schools closed or partially closed to combat the spread of COVID-19, students across the country are largely learning from home. While cybersecurity was important before, it’s even more vital now with increased cyber risks. Phishing campaigns and cyber attacks have increased by 30% between just July and August 2020, and only 72% of IT service providers offer disaster recovery services.

That said, as our kids spend a greater number of hours online to learn and play, it’s essential that they know how to have a safe online experience. Here are a few ways you can make sure your child stays safe and secure while online.

Make sure your child has a basic awareness

One of the best ways to make sure that younger kids can stay safe while online is by increasing their awareness of certain issues. For instance, it can be difficult for your child to understand what cyberbullying is if they’ve never experienced it before and so they may not be able to identify it when it happens to them or their friends. By establishing a basic understanding of computer terms such as cyberbullying, virus protection, and netiquette, you can increase your child’s safety and security while they use the computer both for school and for fun.

Encourage appropriate online behavior

A great way to stop cyberbullying and other issues is by keeping your child from engaging in inappropriate online interactions in the first place. Encourage netiquette and use online games to promote healthy online communication. Online activities can also teach your kids about issues involving digital citizenship and how to communicate with friends online. While it’s important that your child understands how to recognize cyberbullying, it’s also important that they recognize when they’re cyberbullying so they can stop and take responsibility for their behavior.

Regularly update your security software

You may not think much about updating your security software regularly when it’s just you using your tech. But with your kids using the computer, iPad, and other technology to learn and play online, regularly updating your security software is crucial for staying protected against hackers, scammers, and other online threats. Cyber attacks can put your financial security at risk, especially if you’re working from home.

The practice of P2P file-sharing first became popular over 20 years ago, and while many files are now shared on the cloud, sharing data still comes with its own fair share of threats. It’s up to you to mitigate those risks by staying up to date with your cybersecurity. Consider installing security software that automatically updates so you don’t have to worry about upgrading to the latest version and leaving your computer vulnerable to hackers.

With an increase in online learning, it can be tricky to ensure your kids are staying safe online. However, by following the tips above and encouraging your child to learn the basics of safe online communication while maintaining your own cybersecurity software, you can help to reduce the risk of cybersecurity issues while your child’s online.

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