In the last few months, many things have changed. Countries around the world have gone into total lockdown to do their bit to contain the virus. Many businesses have changed the way they work, as employees transition into an environment of working from home. With remote connectivity becoming popular, it seems that the only industry to have been slow on the uptake is education.
However, in the past few weeks, we’ve seen schools, colleges and universities resume teaching through online classes. Much to parents’ relief, we’ve seen teachers and students connect themselves onto popular platforms like Zoom, Skype and Canvas to continue with the curriculum. However, it has been the high usage of these platforms that have highlighted some serious concerns towards our privacy. With Zoombombing being the latest security breach activity reported by the media, these popular digital platforms pose as a major security risk.
With personal information such as students’ names, identity numbers, login credentials and bank details potentially at risk of being exposed or stolen, there is a shared responsibility. Although responsibility lies in the hands of the platform providers, it should also be shared between the teachers and parents who use these service to ensure that children remain safe online.
We understand that it is a difficult time as many of us are trying to juggle team meetings, work and children. That’s why we’ve got some simple tips to help you as teachers and parents keep the kids safe digitally.
Tips for Parents:
Here are some tips that parents can be practicing before and whilst their kids start E-learning.
- Make your kids aware about online safety
Talk to your kids about the dangers that they could face online, and teach them what to look out for so they too can become cyber savvy.
- Watch and browse together with your kids
Co-Viewing internet with kids allow parents to know what their kids are up to and can guide them towards internet safety.
- Use parents controls and enable safety browse options
Activate parental controls, and restrict access. This can help your kids’ access specific websites, app which are meant for them.
- Don’t allow kids to browse alone
Don’t let kids browse alone in their room, or make them sit in an area where parents can see them. Make sure you designate a common living room for them to browse and as you can always glance over them.
- Teach kids to never share any personal information
Teach kids not to share personal information like their name, parent’s name, Address, siblings name, phone number etc without the permission parents
- Make sure you enable privacy settings on social media accounts
Social media platforms have made their privacy policies very stringent, make sure you enable the privacy setting and also let kids know about the same.
- Tell them not to interact with strangers
Kids are attracted to requests from stranger to be more social, make sure your kids is aware about the dangers of interacting with strangers. Hackers are ready to use kids to steal information.
- Limit Internet Browsing time. Set a time limit on how much time they spend on the internet
Set a time limit on how long your kids can browse on the internet.
What teachers can do to keep the students safe?
Students often look up to their teachers for guidance, which is why here’s a couple of things you could be doing to help your students stay safe online wherever they are. Whatever you decide it’s always good to get participation from parents and students.
- Stick to private online apps
Make sure you use an application that is focused on giving you privacy and security when teaching kids online.Talk to your kids about the dangers that they could face online, and teach them what to look out for so they too can become cyber savvy.
- Watch and broCreate a School Policy, and have students sign itwse together with your kids
Create a policy about internet usage, and include what you expect students to use the internet for and what they need to avoid. Make sure they are well aware and ask them and their parents to sign the agreement. This will increase the seriousness.
- Create an effective Cyberbullying reporting system
No one likes a bully, especially a Cyberbully. Unfortunately with social media now at the center of almost every kid’s life, cyber bullying is on the rise. That’s why it’s important for teachers to make students aware of the support systems that are in place to help combat this issue. Enforce an attitude that reporting cyber bully is helping to combat this issue.
- Provide resources
Sometimes talking can be an overload of information. Keep your advice in digestible sizes. Sometimes a simple video or infographic works.