We’ve all survived the first few weeks back to school and along with all the paperwork and notes home from teachers come the elusive discussions around cell phones, social media and all the “it” channels our kids’ friends are one (and why can’t we just let them be on all of them, too?)
The season of back-to-school is a great time to talk to your kids about cybersecurity and cyber safety. With so many devices at their fingertips—at home and at school—basic safety is something that will be important as they learn to navigate the digital age.
Talk to your kids
Talk to your kids (young and old) about privacy basics as well as password security basics. It’s a good idea to run down what your expectations are at home, but more importantly, why some of these expectations are set in place.
Norton provides a helpful list for parents to go through with their kids which includes the following tips:
- Never leave your device unattended
- Don’t automatically click on links, especially if you do not know the sender
- Never share your password
- Be where of social media, location sharing and strangers online
- Be a good digital citizen—nothing truly gets deleted
Talk to your schools
School administrators may not realize when there are concerns—whether they’re about requirements for BYOD (bring your own device) at the middle school or assumptions around social media use at the high school. They may not always be forthcoming with information or make assumptions about things that parents know. Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your school administrators to have an understanding of the do’s, the don’ts and the expectations of devices and internet use during and outside of school.
Some schools provide a Digital Driver’s License course for a period of time before students are allowed to bring their device(s) to school. Check with your school to see if anything like this is offered and/or what teachers are doing to prepare students to be good citizens online.
Use your resources
The Department of Homeland Security has great resources for educators and parents to talk about cybersecurity. Below are some links to get your started; use them to talk to your kids about cyberbullying, cyber safety and build general awareness online:
- Protect Kids Online
- NetSmartz Series for educators
- Smartphone Security Checker
- Family Online Safety Institute
What tips do you have for protecting our kids, families and educators online? Share your resources and what’s worked for you and your family in the comments, below.