Keeping Students Safe Online

Student using social media on her phone.

August is National Wellness Month, making it a great time to start working with your students to develop healthy online habits. Build your cybersecurity literacy to help your students navigate online safety in today’s hyper-connected world with these K-12 online safety tips and resources.

Online Gaming Tips 

As e-gaming and Esports clubs increase in popularity, here are some essential topics kids need a game plan on how to handle: coping with players that make them feel uncomfortable, how to keep a clean machine, ways to protect personal information, and how to identify fishing scams. Click here to access “Gaming Tips for Teens and Tweens.”

Digital Citizenship

Social media and other online spaces poise unique challenges for how students should comport to be good citizens. Students need to learn about key topics, including a lack of anonymity and the potential reach of digital messaging. To get started here is a list of 9 digital citizen rules from ISTE.

Teachers using GoGuardian Beacon software to keep students safe online.

One of the nine digital citizenship rules outlined by ISTE is  “[Treat] others with respect in online spaces and never cyberbullies.” Catching cyberbullying among students is not always possible, so some schools are employing EdTech to help. GoGuardian Beacon®augments a school’s crisis prevention program to protect vulnerable students from bullying. GoGuardian uses machine learning to identify and notify pre-determined staff about possible cases in which students may be at risk of harming themselves or others. Click here to learn more about GoGuardian Beacon.  

Celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Every October is Cybersecurity Awareness month. During the 2020-2021 school year, K-12 schools were the most targeted public sector institutions for ransomware attacks, giving you a compelling reason to celebrate and raise cybersecurity awareness among your students. Click here to discover other top K-12 cyber incidents.

School Devices

With the expansion of 1:1 initiatives, the need to protect school devices from cyber threats is pressing for school districts. The FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) researched and developed K-12 cybersecurity guidelines to help schools fight cyber-crime. Click here to access “Cyber Threats to K-12 Remote Learning Education,” an introductory look at staying safe for non-technical educational professionals.

One crucial way that schools are modernizing their cybersecurity is by switching from legacy MFA to using multi-factor authentication (MFA). Legacy MFA means students, teachers, and administrative professions are either still using usernames and passwords which are easily hackable or mobile authenticators which are susceptible to multiple cyber threats, including phishing and malware. Yubico’s YubiKey for education offers schools MFA that gives students, teachers, and staff simple touch access to schools devices and even networks and online services whether on or off campus. Many cyber insurance policies require multi-factor authentication to reduce their risk of payouts, making options like Yubikey a new back-to-school essential. Click here to learn about YubiKey.

We’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Sources:

https://stopthinkconnect.org/tips-advice/general-tips-and-advice

https://thejournal.com/articles/2020/12/11/k12-has-become-the-most-targeted-segment-for-ransomware.aspx

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/1917/all-info

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