As the start of a new school year approaches, it’s time for parents and students everywhere to get ready. And we’re not just talking about buying school supplies and wrapping up any summer reading.
The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency website is a resource for parents and guardians to share with their children as they grow up in the digital age. The K-12 School Security Guide and Companion Products includes tips and other resources to help families teach their kids about internet safety, responsible online behavior, and managing their digital footprint.
CISA Director Christopher Krebs said that “back-to-school time” is a great opportunity for parents to talk with their children about internet safety. He explained that these conversations should be ongoing throughout the year, but that it is especially important to have a focused discussion as kids head back to school. This will help them stay safe online in both the classroom and beyond.
Here are some tips to share with your kids on cybersecurity from the website to get you started:
- Help your child understand that what they post online is public and permanent. Once something is posted, it’s out there forever.
- Encourage your child to think before they post. They should ask themselves: Is this something I want the whole world to see?
- Talk about treating others online the way you would in person. Just because someone is anonymous doesn’t mean it’s okay to be mean.
- Help your child understand that not everything they see online is true. People can make up stories or post fake pictures.
- Encourage your child to come to you if they see something online that makes them feel uncomfortable. They should know that you are a safe person to talk to about anything that happens online.
- Create strong passwords and don’t reuse them across different accounts. Use a password manager if needed to keep track of them all.
- Make sure your devices and software are up to date with the latest security patches.
- Use two-factor authentication whenever possible to add an extra layer of security to your accounts.
- Back up your important files in case something happens to your device.
- Be thoughtful about what personal information you share online. The less information you share, the less there is to be stolen.
For more tips and resources, visit the K-12 School Security Guide and Companion Products website.
Cybersecurity is a growing concern for both children and adults. Education is the way to fight against the increasing threats we face online. As the digital world becomes a greater part of our daily lives, these threats will only increase. Start educating yourself and your children today.