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  • By: Jacqueline Goralczyk

Revisiting Cybersecurity in Remote Learning

After almost a year of remote learning, most parents are tired of tinkering with computers and wondering if they are doing the right thing. In fact, most parents didn’t enjoy this before the pandemic! Cybersecurity is the responsibility of both the parents and teachers. This was not in your book of parents over 12 months ago!

Chromebooks, iPads, tablets, and laptops have been the rule, not the exception, for the past year. It is extremely crucial that parents refresh themselves to protect their children's privacy, security, and emotional health. Even if your children are currently in school, an outbreak could mean remote classes in the future. Although school days may differ between districts and states, platforms like Zoom and Google Classroom have been common educational delivery methods.

As a refresher, what should a parent do to continue to protect their child from an unfortunate cyber security incident?

Use Distinct School and Recreation Accounts

It is easy to get lenient about your child's school and play accounts when you are juggling your own work life with your child's virtual school life. Try creating a division between online activities for school and leisure by making sure kids have separate e-mail addresses. If they have an email address automatically created by the school district, such as a Gmail address through Google Classroom, use that for all education apps and sites. Parents should make a clear difference between homework time and free time. In talking to parents, playing games with friends during school or homework time has significantly increased. Watch that closely!

Don't Forget About Available Controls

Parents were probably good at this at the very beginning, but permission creep is likely to have happened. Periodically revisit the simple parental controls with site accessibility or limits on YouTube or gaming. If you are really adventurous, new wireless devices have parental controls.

Educating Your Kids About Personal Cyber Security

Kids are not immune from hackers that are eager to take advantage of current home situations. It is encouraged to talk to your children about passwords and personal information online or sharing passwords, even if it is with close friends. Cyber security should be a part of every school curriculum.

Maintain Control Over Their Personal Data

Parents should help manage their child's personal data. Many parents do not have the time or just simply are not great at this activity. If you fall in this category, try reaching out to your child's teacher or school IT department.

Continue to Evaluate Their Learning Environment

Does your child work in a quiet, interruption free place with sufficient Wi-Fi? It is important that your child's workspace is not only quiet with limited interruptions, but also well-lit so students and teachers have good quality online learning experiences. It is also a place where you can evaluate interactions with your child and teachers. Personal and private data is not a luxury, but a right of every parent and child. It is important to continue to make efforts in order to protect yourself and your child.

Originally Written in Spring 2021 By Rick Cobello, DeAngelus Goralczyk, PLLC

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