In the previous article we looked at cybercrime and what it means to have cybersecurity. Your children need to be aware that cybersecurity applies to any form of interaction they have with cyberspace – even in school.
Shared computer labs are a breeding ground for innocent compromising of computers, devices, and personal accounts. This is where there are multiple users per machine weekly. In an attempt to ensure that students are protected, lab technicians ensure that the network is secure from any other platform except that which is needed for the students to complete set tasks. What you will find, then, is that specific sites are blocked and made inaccessible in the classroom.
There will also be restrictions on the use of social media and other entertainment platforms. It is not that these sites are infected. Still, the technicians are aware of the impulses of youth who may innocently click a link to browse further, and inadvertently end up compromising the system.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Since hundreds of students at all levels of education interact with cyberspace, restricting access to just what is needed, protects the student in cyberspace while they are in the care of the school, as well as the computer network in the labs. The experts can also educate children, their information technology teachers, regarding risks while online and how they can protect themselves.
One significant way in which children need not fear when they are in cyberspace in the classroom is that they have a unique username and password to access the computer. This is one security measure put in place that teachers can use to check on students as they work. There is usually a central machine that monitors each student at the various stations.
Overall, a classroom that ensures that cybersecurity is in place is one where students can feel confident that their online activity will be screened and protected. Even if they accidentally click a suspicious link or open a strange document, the built-in security programs will alert them to stay away.
What do you want your children to know about cybersecurity in the classroom?
When your children are among their peers, it may prove quite intimidating to not do as everyone else is doing. Help your children to understand that they need to listen to their teachers when they are instructed to stay off certain websites or not browse social media platforms. Help them to realize that it is for their good when there are blocks on the computer systems at school. These blocks help to keep them focused on the specific tasks they have to complete. Remind them that social media platforms and games have no place in school, and so they should wait until they are using their devices in the comfort of their home to access these sites.
Another thing that your children need to recognize is that the lab is not their computer system, but is there for all students to use. If the system becomes compromised in any way, everyone will suffer the consequences of an infected system and not just the guilty person who compromised the system. They need to be a part of the solution and respect the cybersecurity measures put in place by their school. They also need to encourage their peers to do the same, as well as discourage those who seek to defy and override the security measures put in place.
Your children also need to be aware of the danger of sharing their login information. This keeps their account secure from their peers who may choose to use their account maliciously. Some children do not understand that there must be boundaries laid down in their online interactions. Help your children to encourage their friends to respect these boundaries when they are set.
Your children also need to know that they ought not to leave their login and password information lying around carelessly. They may write it down for safekeeping if they believe they may forget it, but they need to make sure it is stored in a place that only they know of. Being that they are on a shared system, also, they need to be aware that they should never leave the computer lab without logging out of their account. The simple reason for this is again to keep them safe. If they remain logged in, another student can use that machine in your child’s account. If this happens, your child can be blamed for things they may not have done.
Ultimately, just because your children are at school, that does not mean they cannot be safe as they move about in cyberspace. As a matter of fact, they may be safer because of the restrictions on the school’s network, whereas they have better access to some pages at home. Cybersecurity at school works in their favour rather than against them.
Anywhere where cyberspace may be accessed, cybersecurity must be present