Cyberattacks are running rampant in 2021, but their impact goes well beyond pipelines and meat processors. 87% of educational organizations have experienced at least one successful cyberattack, with 41% of attacks caused by social engineering alone. If putting the data of employees and students at risk wasn’t bad enough, the safety and wellbeing of students themselves are also on the line.
Without basic cybersecurity and tech literacy lessons in place, students are potentially putting themselves, their families, and their teachers at risk. Here are some of the basics that teachers and parents should know going into this year’s hybrid school environment.
Know Your Networks
With students bouncing between in-person and virtual learning, it’s more important than ever to know your network. Not all networks are the same! Increased security and censorship settings are normally in place on verified school networks that keep students protected and focused throughout their workday.
Review the Technology Policy
From schools to offices, nearly every modern workplace has a technology policy in place – and if they don’t, then they should! For kids, understanding the rules on gaming, banned sites, and the punishments for cyberbullying all come together to keep them protected. It’s also important to understand the repair and replacement policies that protect your equipment. Whether it’s spilled coffee or a spill down the stairs, understanding the device coverage or total cost of repairing your hardware helps you understand how much it takes to keep your device protected.
Have a Digital Literacy Conversation
Digital literacy is “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.” While the next generation has been raised with this technology in mind, it’s important to also add a talk on cybersecurity and safety to the conversation. With social media constantly pulling at the attention of kids and adults alike, it’s important to understand that what they put online is out there for the world to see, save, and bring up later in their lives. Anything online can be archived, and there are plenty of bad actors trying to gain access to your data daily.
Know Your Support Network
Just as kids need a support structure in the home to help them excel at school, everyone needs a support structure to help them excel online. Error messages and computer snafus are going to happen, so it’s important to know where to turn when an issue strikes. Many schools likely have a dedicated IT department that focuses on fixing issues on the physical and digital campuses. In the professional world, workplaces may rely on an internal IT team or a dedicated MSP, like SeedSpark, to deliver everything that they need to accomplish their work and connect each day.
Tip: Keep a “cheat sheet” with links to your support ticket submission or tech resources to cut down the time it takes to connect to your resource.
With fall on the way, parents are soon going to realize just how much they have in common with their kids as many workplaces begin returning to the office after a year away. Understanding the basics of digital literacy helps everyone stay safe online regardless of their age, protecting their data against hundreds of thousands of malicious actors around the world.
SeedSpark is a leading technology MSP that focuses on keeping our clients protected while implementing the right technology that accomplishes today’s goals while helping them prepare for tomorrow. Fill out the form to download our guide, Cybersecurity 101, to learn the basics and make sure that you’re prepared for this fall’s new hybrid workspace.