Back to School
BACK TO SCHOOL
Back-to-school time is exciting for kids and parents alike. There is much to think about and anticipate when embarking on a new year and a new adventure. One crucial task you should be sure to tackle is protecting your online security. The need for tablet, laptop, and smartphone security is just as important as getting the right school supplies. Many of us at Layer 8 Security have kids and understand how easy it is to get caught up in the back-to-school hubbub and miss vital details. We want all kids to be safe online so here are some tips and guidelines to help ensure both you and your kids are set up for security.
An Ounce of Prevention
The best way to stay safe online is through education. It is important for parents to educate themselves about online dangers presented by apps and social sites and then to talk to kids about how to be safe. Make it a two-way conversation; find out what their worries are and what they are comfortable doing online and how to team up to prevent security breaches. Additionally, we recommend investing in a good monitoring software package to provide peace of mind and help keep students accountable. Just remember to review the logs regularly and tell your kids the monitoring package is there as trust between parents and kids is key.
Use Safe Websites
Today’s robust academics require that students do a lot of online research. Making sure kids visit secure websites is a simple step in creating safety online. An excellent tool to help both you and your kids stay away from shady websites is a site advisor.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practicing good cyber hygiene helps both you and your kids to be safe online. Here are some useful guidelines:
- Limit the personal data you enter into websites and apps; despite its prodding, the weather app does not need to know your social security number.
- Keep your software up to date; this will usually include installing the latest and greatest security patches.
- Install a comprehensive internet security software package that encompasses phones, tablets, and laptops.
- Use privacy and security settings; your online profiles should never be public.
- And most importantly, use strong passwords that include the following:
- Upper and lower case characters; Alphanumeric
- Special characters
- At least 12 characters long
- No words from the dictionary
- Example: 1L0ov3d0gg1es!!@*
Cyber Bullies are out there!
Far too often we hear of stories of teens being tragically cyber bullied. Together, we can do something about it! Here are steps you and your kids can take to help end cyberbullying:
- Document the abuse.
- Contact the administrators of the website where it happened.
- Alert the school this is going on and who the parties involved are.
- Contact local police immediately.
- Never engage in online text battles or rival hate sites.
The internet is a great tool for education and research if you take the proper precautions. Like anything, staying safe online can quickly become a good habit if you practice it. We hope these tips and guidelines will help keep you and your kids be safe. Here’s to a great school year!
Contributions by Leandra Lipson
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