Amidst the pandemic, schools are turning to digital aid in order to educate the youth. Though there are definitely some challenges in a digital learning space, teachers are maximizing their efforts to assure safety in this medium. However, like every other system, there are loopholes.
While the responsibility falls on the shoulders of parents and teachers to make the digital platform a safe place, it doesn’t hurt to know a few things yourself, right? Using these tips, students can guarantee a safer environment and strengthen the cybersecurity of one’s gadgets.
Use of Encrypted Sites and Apps
Encryption is probably the best tool when sending or receiving data online. So for that, we need to gravitate towards websites and apps that use encryption to protect private and personal data against network hackers and snoopers. This tip is easy enough to follow. Only use sites that have ‘HTTPS’ in their URL. This prevents data from leaking.
This can also be a frustrating tip to follow like sometimes we’re in a hurry, and we need to send a file, but we need to find a secure site first. Having a few cyber tricks up your sleeve in this emerging digital world would do you well. You can encrypt your own data before sending it through a network. It will serve as the first line of defense against cyber-attacks. And who knows, if you’re good at it, maybe you’ll make a career out of it. With cyber-attacks rising in number, more and more companies are hiring experts with a Master’s in cyber security to protect their databases. In the U.S alone, cyber-attacks occur every 39 seconds, so all in all, you’ll also never be out of a job!
Use of Strong Passwords and Codes
Being predictable will inevitably mean your doom. And as cheesy as that line sounds, it is also true. So whether you use your own intuition or a password creator, be sure to use complex passwords to safeguard your data.
Hackers can crack open weak passwords without batting an eye, as they can anticipate those codes. So you need to be smarter and more spontaneous if you don’t want the sensitive data to get out. So take the time to create a strong password.
Thinking before Clicking
This is a simple piece of advice that can serve you well in the long run, especially if you spend too much time online. Psst, do rest your eyes, kids’ cause that much screen time can cause serious damage (We’re not kidding!). It takes about a second to double-check a link or a source. This assures them of whether it is really safe or not.
But just so we understand, steer clear of suspicious links and messages sent by strangers cause that’s like asking for trouble.
Terms and Conditions
It won’t hurt to go through the privacy policies of the sites you are using before you click ‘accept all.’ I know it’s a running joke in the younger generations where no one bothers to go through the terms and policies, given the length. But actually, reading them may surprise you at how sites sneak around some of the rules. At the same time, others can trap individuals by collecting contact details and using them for dangerous purposes.
Sharing is not always Caring
It’s true what they say, but it just doesn’t work when it comes to safety in the digital world. Sharing passwords and codes, and worst of all, sharing stuff online, can have unpleasant consequences. So you should be careful of what you write or post, where millions can see.
Like sharing a snap of a newly made driver’s license or a boarding pass can leak details about your credit card information. The rate of identity theft is high as it is.
Securing Your Social Media Accounts
Always be careful when using these platforms for all kinds of people who are prowling out there. Make sure that the settings of your accounts ensure your protection, and be careful about how your data is shared and with whom you are sharing.
For example, there is a private and a public setting to Instagram. Choose whichever you feel comfortable with. Also, there are options within the private account settings if you want to hide comments or message requests for someone in particular. It’s up to you who you get to talk to or message.
This is a good choice to conceal students’ internet traffic from hackers and snoopers who practically devour sensitive information. Using a VPN for an educational institution’s network or that in one’s home can help increase the security of a database as well as the exchange of data.
Similarly, a VPN can encrypt an unsecured Wi-Fi connection to make it safe for students who are learning remotely from cafes, homes, or coffee shops.
Bit of a weird word, isn’t it? Don’t worry; it’s actually written this way (I checked the spelling). Daily reports come in of people losing data or being trapped because they opened a bunch of phishing emails. I know it seems kind of hard, but with a healthy amount of practice and (cough) common sense, you’ll be able to identify them in a trice!
So their goal is to make their email seem genuine, right? This is why they send them through sources that seem secure and make people want to give sensitive data like their passwords or credit card details. Never share your personal data unless you absolutely trust the source.
Before We Part!
So we hope this has helped you to understand the dangers of being careless while surfing on the internet, as well as aiding you in safeguarding your networks and computers from external sources both at home and in school. These tips can be applied to both. Stay vigilant and stay safe, kids!