The current global health crisis has brought unprecedented change to some of the most basic endeavors in life. Going to school, for instance, went from being a normal everyday routine, to becoming a struggle to cope with the various distractions of the digital world.
Obviously, education is a key ingredient in your child’s overall development. However, during this pandemic, the challenge doesn’t simply lie in his or her capacity to absorb knowledge, but in everyone’s willingness—parents and kids—to adapt to and navigate the intricacies of the worldwide web.
Whether they like it or not, online schooling has sort of becoming a significant part of your child’s life. Considering this, you, as the parent, have the added responsibility to make sure your kid is protected from all the dangers of the internet.
We’ve talked to some industry experts about online safety tips that will help you adjust to education’s “new normal.” Here are their responses:
1. Protect Their Email Account
If your kids have email accounts, for example, make it clear that messages from names they aren’t familiar with should be ignored, because opening them and clicking any of the links inside could cause something bad to happen.
– Sean Messier (Credit Card Insider)
2. Switch On Two-Step Authentication
If these features are available, turn on your kid’s two or multi-factor authentication. This means that they’ll access their online schooling accounts by either entering a passcode or using fingerprint or Face ID. This prevents unauthorized users from accessing their accounts, even if hackers have your children’s login credentials.
– Aliza Vigderman (Journalist and Content Manager, Center Field)
3. Use Child-Safe Browsers
An important step in protecting children in the online world, is to use child-safe internet browsers such as Kidrex or Kidsplorer. This will limit the use to pre-approved websites and games. It’s much easier to ensure their safety using such a dedicated browser instead of the usual ones.
– Gian Moore (Partner and Editor, Mellowpine)
4. Mind Their Computer Camera
Always cover up the camera on your kid’s laptop, unless required to be virtually present for class. It’s not uncommon for hackers to access their camera and watch them while they work on the computer. This is a particularly troubling thought for parents whose children may be doing their schooling online because of COVID-19.
– John Ross (Test Prep Insight)
5. Update Their Gadget’s Apps
Developers release security patches that cover up vulnerabilities in the tools every now and then. Remember to keep your apps updated to stay safe from the breaches.
– Abdul Rehman (Cyber Security Editor, VPNRanks)
6. Limit Location Services
If your child is attending school online, an easy way to increase their security is to limit location services. Check your computer’s location services and verify which apps have access to your location. The less that have access to it, the better. If a hacker gets access to your location data, they could deduce when you’ll be home and use that information against you. Secondly, go through all your apps (even Zoom) and restrict access to your contacts, photos, and calendar. Limiting sensitive data on public apps will increase your online security.
– Taylor Miller (Communication Specialist, All Home Connections)
8. Educate Them With the Basics of Cybersecurity
It’s imperative for parents to remember that nothing replaces candid discussions with kids about cybersecurity. Keep them informed about the dangers of visiting unknown websites or communicating with strangers so they won’t fall into the trap of internet predators.
– Veronica Miller (VPN Overview)