The sun’s setting earlier. And the leaves are beginning to change. The breeze is a little stronger.
Soon, Summer’s going to be gone as quickly as it came, which means one thing: it’s back-to-school season. Students, new ones going for the first time, seasoned primary school, impressionable middle school, and the “all knowing” High schoolers, all embarking on a new school year.
That means they’ll be chatting on line, looking for books, and using social media to connect with new classmates.
Unfortunately, digital attackers are after everyone’s information, and they have no problem tricking the younger generation into giving up personal info: banking credentials, credit card numbers, cell phone numbers, and other bits of personal information. It’s up to all of us: parents, teachers, and siblings to spread the word and share some wisdom to protect students and children while surfing the web.
One of the best thing you can do to protect yourself online is to protect your accounts and their passwords.
Be cautious of offers that look too good to be true, because they probably are. When it comes to buying clothes to books, be cautious.
As many kids start a new year school and become more active on social media for the first time, it’s important that some basic safety rules be enforced. Good rules of thumb include:
1. Don’t share personal information (like your home address) on social media.
2. Be careful of what’s visible in the photos you share. Attackers can replicate school IDs, driver’s licenses, and other identification cards using today’s high-definition photos.
3. Turn off location services when you don’t really need them, or enable them per-application. Only parents really need to know where you are at any given moment.”
4. If you need to access the internet from a public location, understand that anything you say or do can be monitored by everyone else.
5. Popularity isn’t everything! Whichever platforms you use, always enable the settings that require you to approve connections and only accept requests from people you know.
6. Report online abuse. Cyberbullying is real. If you see something, say something. Don’t reply to the bully but instead enlist the help of parents or a trusted adult to help you.
7. Be cautious in chatrooms, especially ones created specifically for teens. They are collectors for online predators.”