As the 2022-23 school year begins in communities across Texas and teachers, administrators and families adapt to different situations, the Better Business Bureau is reminding residents to remain cautious about how they interact online.
While face-to-face classes are the primary method for managing classes this year, the continued presence of COVID-19 requires preparation and flexibility for possible online classes. Familiarity with distance learning may have provided a false sense of security among youth, who often do not fully understand the dangers of the Internet.
Better Business Bureau offers the following tips on how to stay safe online this school year.
teachers and administrators
Video conferencing tools. Ensure online software used for lectures, classwork, and other online interactions is secure. The days of zoom bombing, phishing, and other forms of cybercriminal activity are not over.
Evaluate and update cybersecurity plans. Now is the time for educators to develop a plan to notify students, faculty, and staff when there is a privacy breach or security issue during class. See what type of information is stored digitally and what the consequences are if that information is compromised. What processes are in place to mitigate the risk?
Keep your computer clean and update internet-connected devices. Planning and regularly backing up important lesson plans, personal information, and assignments is the best way to recover from viruses, malware, and other online threats. A good practice to protect your device is to keep yourself up to date with the latest software, which often includes updates that prevent cybercriminals from accessing electronic devices.
Parents: be careful
Creating accounts on websites without permission. Social media sites are full of strangers with intentions that may be different from yours. Many websites are designed to collect data and behavior from unauthorized users and sell it to advertisers who want to do targeted marketing. When creating an account, some children may incorrectly create a date of birth to meet the required minimum age. Know what your child is doing online and keep track of the social media sites and accounts they have access to.
Adults aren’t the only ones who get spam and junk mail. Kids often get junk mail, and since they don’t have much online experience, they’re more likely to click on links and answer questions they probably shouldn’t. While some emails may be legitimate, the last thing parents want is a $500 bill from a fraudulent website where their child may have purchased something — or worse, posting personal information that scammers about you can follow home.
understand applications. Short for “applications”, apps are downloaded software that run on various devices, such as B. smartphones, works. However, certain apps may collect and share personal information about your child or target your child with advertisements. Even free apps can contain paid features and kids may not understand that some apps or game features cost money since the developer has marked them as free to download. You can click on these so-called free games and cost parents or guardians a hefty bill at the end of the month.
File Sharing Sites. Many websites allow children to download free media. You may not know that these websites often carry the risk of downloading a virus that allows identity thieves to gain access to the gaming device, PC or even a mobile phone. From there, the cyber thief can track financial transactions, geographic location, or tap into household Wi-Fi without anyone knowing.
Tips for managing family online privacy:
Find out more about CARU. The Children’s Advertisement Review Unit (CARU) is the country’s first safe harbor program under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which went into effect on April 21, 2000. Participants who adhere to CARU guidelines are considered COPPA compliant and are largely isolated from FTC enforcement actions as long as they follow program requirements. When advertising or data collection practices are misleading, inappropriate, or inconsistent with laws and regulations, CARU seeks change through voluntary corporate collaboration and enforcement action, as appropriate. Parents can find more information about CARU and its impact at BBBPrograms.org.
Find out more about COPPA. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) protects the personal information of children under the age of 13 on websites and online services – including apps. COPPA requires these websites and services to notify parents and obtain their consent before collecting, using, or disclosing a child’s personal information.
If necessary, use the child lock. Although the best way to protect a child’s online privacy is to teach them to manage themselves, enabling parental controls is an additional tool to monitor their online activity. Today, Android, iOS, and most web browsers offer built-in features that parents can use to monitor their children’s online activities, but third-party apps are also available. Research the option that works best.
Share them wisely and remember that personal information is like money. Anything posted online can last a lifetime; Discuss with your children that any information they share online is easily copied and almost impossible to take back. Talk to them about who might see a post and how they might make others feel now or in the future. Show how everything they do online can have a positive or negative impact on other people. Sharing personal information can also give online thieves an idea of what credentials or passwords might be used for banking or other online accounts in the future.
Avoid sharing your location. Almost every app these days automatically tracks a user’s location. It’s a good idea for kids to disable this app feature. Advise them not to tag their posts with their location either.
Click or tap the link to return to the home page.