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Category: Online Safety for Kids

How to Limit Your Child’s Screen Time

how to reduce child's screen time

The time we used to spend outdoors, in cars, shopping malls, or just hanging out with friends, we now spend indoors watching TV or using smartphones much of the time. Adults have a hard enough time as it is to limit their screen time, so what about the children?

Such a routine is not ideal for young eyes. Their screen use has increased drastically. Online sessions have replaced classrooms, and the time they used playing in the grounds is now spent watching online videos, playing games, or Face-timing with friends.

Although it is understandable that parents currently have their hands full with remote working, homeschooling, and running the household, they are sometimes guilty of using digital devices as a babysitter. And although parents need a break too, they must establish limits regarding acceptable limits regarding screen time.

Reducing your child’s screen time can significantly lessen digital eye strain symptoms that include blurry vision, tired eyes, and headaches. Here are some ways you can take control and reduce screen time during times at home.

1. Reduce your Screen time first

Yes, it has to start with you. Kids look up to parents, and if you don’t reduce your screen time, you cannot make your children do so. There are some software and apps that you can install on your phone, and monitor how much time you spend on your phone and other digital activities. Some phones come with inbuilt features and monitor the overall usage and time you spend on individual apps.

If you spend two hours on an app every day, reduce it to one hour and then gradually, into half an hour. Once you do that, you would be surprised to see how much time you have for other activities. But it’s not about your screen time in the first place; you are doing this for your children.

Enjoy screen-free meals

The idea should be to enjoy meals. It has become a norm to eat meals in front of a TV or using cellphones that results in distracted eating. You are more focused on what is happening on the screen than what we are putting in our mouth.

Mealtimes are great for social interaction. And these days have provided both parents and children to spend more quality time with each other. So, tell your children that no phones will be allowed on the table during meals. Make them leave their phones in another room away from the table.

Call your friends and family

Traditional phone calls have become a thing of the past now. If you notice, you would prefer to send a text message or a voice mail than answering a call. But phone calls are important. And psychologically beneficial too. Direct voice communication can even save relationships, which has become crucial when families and friends are living in isolation.

Call up a friend or family member. Make your children call their friends or grandparents. And then assess how you feel after hanging up the phone. Phone calls are a great way to connect when you cannot be together physically. Video calls are great as well. At least your child won’t be tapping away on the screen, texting or scrolling down Facebook.

Read at least one chapter every day

Why one chapter? Well, if you haven’t read books in a while, you cannot finish an entire book in a day. If not one, go for at least two. Reading is one of the best hobbies, and you should urge your children to read more. Also, if the book is unable to capture their interest or attention, they can always pick up another one.

Ebooks and audiobook rentals are available at local libraries easily. Indulge in reading with your children. You can do various activities. Choose books to read for the week, and then ask your children what they learned from it. Also, you can take turns reading as a family.

Take a break from digital devices

The key is to gradually reduce screen time and cut it down as much as you can. But as said earlier, doing it in quarantine gets a bit difficult. You can start with short breaks and encourage your children to give their eyes and their devices some rest. Make a timetable for your children that they have to take a short break every hour. You can go outside in the backyard or garden. Do some chore, solve a puzzle or anything that does not involve screens.

With short breaks, the focus gets better. And eventually, you would find these habits becoming addictive. When you step away from the screens for 10 minutes, it will slowly increase to 20 minutes. You would find yourself doing other things and getting accustomed to it. Now, this might be easier with young children but not with teens. Excessive screen use not only harms the eyes but spending too much time on social media has negative impacts on psychological health. Social media is addictive, and if you think that your teen is not going to break free anytime soon, you need to take some strict measures. Get the Xnspy monitoring app designed for parents to keep a check on your teen’s digital activities.

The app monitors text messages, call logs, emails, locations, web browsing history, and a lot more. There are numerous remote functionalities too. If you think your teens are not following rules and using screens when they are supposed to be taking a break or doing something else, you can learn how to remotely shut or lock the device.

Indulge in a new hobby

Everyone person wants to learn something or know something they have been interested in for a long time. Now maybe the best time to experience or learn new things. Help your child finding a new hobby. It can be growing a veggie garden, a DIY project at home, beginner cooking skills, organizing, or anything else. Children are using tablets and phones excessively due to the monotonous routine during the quarantine. When there is something new to do, they are going to distance themselves from the screens on their own.

And even if you use screens to learn a new craft like YouTube. See that you watch the tutorial and then get to work.

The occasional laziness is okay

While all of the above tips work and bring results, you cannot spend the entire quarantine self-improving. Leave some room for relaxation. And it is alright if your child spends an hour more on-screen once a week. Do not feel guilty about it.

We all have a lot of time on our hands that we can use to reflect upon ourselves or relax. Enjoy nature and your surroundings. Plan a lunch or breakfast in the backyard/garden. Ask your children to come up with ideas for décor. And also the menu. You have to make use of what you have and feel blessed.

Mindfulness and meditation do not require physical activity but can boost your mental health and give you a new perspective. There are many ways you can practice these things with children and make them feel more attuned to their surroundings away from the digital world.

Try out these, and gradually, you will see great results!

The time we used to spend outdoors, in cars, shopping malls, or just hanging out with friends, we now spend indoors watching TV or using smartphones much of the time. Adults have a hard enough time as it is to limit their screen time, so what about the children?

Such a routine is not ideal for young eyes. Their screen use has increased drastically. Online sessions have replaced classrooms, and the time they used playing in the grounds is now spent watching online videos, playing games, or Face-timing with friends.

Although it is understandable that parents currently have their hands full with remote working, homeschooling, and running the household, they are sometimes guilty of using digital devices as a babysitter. And although parents need a break too, they must establish limits regarding acceptable limits regarding screen time.

Reducing your child’s screen time can significantly lessen digital eye strain symptoms that include blurry vision, tired eyes, and headaches. Here are some ways you can take control and reduce screen time during times at home.

1. Reduce your Screen time first

Yes, it has to start with you. Kids look up to parents, and if you don’t reduce your screen time, you cannot make your children do so. There are some software and apps that you can install on your phone, and monitor how much time you spend on your phone and other digital activities. Some phones come with inbuilt features and monitor the overall usage and time you spend on individual apps.

If you spend two hours on an app every day, reduce it to one hour and then gradually, into half an hour. Once you do that, you would be surprised to see how much time you have for other activities. But it’s not about your screen time in the first place; you are doing this for your children.

Enjoy screen-free meals

The idea should be to enjoy meals. It has become a norm to eat meals in front of a TV or using cellphones that results in distracted eating. You are more focused on what is happening on the screen than what we are putting in our mouth.

Mealtimes are great for social interaction. And these days have provided both parents and children to spend more quality time with each other. So, tell your children that no phones will be allowed on the table during meals. Make them leave their phones in another room away from the table.

Call your friends and family

Traditional phone calls have become a thing of the past now. If you notice, you would prefer to send a text message or a voice mail than answering a call. But phone calls are important. And psychologically beneficial too. Direct voice communication can even save relationships, which has become crucial when families and friends are living in isolation.

Call up a friend or family member. Make your children call their friends or grandparents. And then assess how you feel after hanging up the phone. Phone calls are a great way to connect when you cannot be together physically. Video calls are great as well. At least your child won’t be tapping away on the screen, texting or scrolling down Facebook.

Read at least one chapter every day

Why one chapter? Well, if you haven’t read books in a while, you cannot finish an entire book in a day. If not one, go for at least two. Reading is one of the best hobbies, and you should urge your children to read more. Also, if the book is unable to capture their interest or attention, they can always pick up another one.

Ebooks and audiobook rentals are available at local libraries easily. Indulge in reading with your children. You can do various activities. Choose books to read for the week, and then ask your children what they learned from it. Also, you can take turns reading as a family.

Take a break from digital devices

The key is to gradually reduce screen time and cut it down as much as you can. But as said earlier, doing it in quarantine gets a bit difficult. You can start with short breaks and encourage your children to give their eyes and their devices some rest. Make a timetable for your children that they have to take a short break every hour. You can go outside in the backyard or garden. Do some chore, solve a puzzle or anything that does not involve screens.

With short breaks, the focus gets better. And eventually, you would find these habits becoming addictive. When you step away from the screens for 10 minutes, it will slowly increase to 20 minutes. You would find yourself doing other things and getting accustomed to it. Now, this might be easier with young children but not with teens. Excessive screen use not only harms the eyes but spending too much time on social media has negative impacts on psychological health. Social media is addictive, and if you think that your teen is not going to break free anytime soon, you need to take some strict measures. Get the Xnspy monitoring app designed for parents to keep a check on your teen’s digital activities.

The app monitors text messages, call logs, emails, locations, web browsing history, and a lot more. There are numerous remote functionalities too. If you think your teens are not following rules and using screens when they are supposed to be taking a break or doing something else, you can learn how to remotely shut or lock the device.

Indulge in a new hobby

Everyone person wants to learn something or know something they have been interested in for a long time. Now maybe the best time to experience or learn new things. Help your child finding a new hobby. It can be growing a veggie garden, a DIY project at home, beginner cooking skills, organizing, or anything else. Children are using tablets and phones excessively due to the monotonous routine during the quarantine. When there is something new to do, they are going to distance themselves from the screens on their own.

And even if you use screens to learn a new craft like YouTube. See that you watch the tutorial and then get to work.

The occasional laziness is okay

While all of the above tips work and bring results, you cannot spend the entire quarantine self-improving. Leave some room for relaxation. And it is alright if your child spends an hour more on-screen once a week. Do not feel guilty about it.

We all have a lot of time on our hands that we can use to reflect upon ourselves or relax. Enjoy nature and your surroundings. Plan a lunch or breakfast in the backyard/garden. Ask your children to come up with ideas for décor. And also the menu. You have to make use of what you have and feel blessed.

Mindfulness and meditation do not require physical activity but can boost your mental health and give you a new perspective. There are many ways you can practice these things with children and make them feel more attuned to their surroundings away from the digital world.

Try out these, and gradually, you will see great results!

Important Safety Tips while Using Public WiFi

Safety Tips while using Public WiFi

You do not have very go far these days to access free public Wi-Fi. It is available in airports, libraries, cafes, hotels and government buildings. This is helpful but it is important for both adults and kids to make sure they do not trade safety and security for convenience. Just because the public building you are in is reputable, does not mean the Wi-Fi connection is secure.

When using your smart phone or computer in a public hotspot, you need to be careful to ensure the Wi-Fi network is encrypted. Otherwise, it opens you up to the risk of having your online accounts hacked. This could result in cyber thieves stealing your personal information.

Here are two basic safety tips to keep in mind to protect your information.  And then we will explore additional ways to stay safe while online in public.

1.  Check to see if the Public Wi-Fi Network is Secure.

As mentioned, we are not worried about the people who control the Wi-Fi network.  The risk is when others around us are in the business of hacking into the personal accounts using the network.  It could be the person sitting across from you in a coffee shop, or just outside on the street. 

If the public Wi-Fi network does not ask you to enter in a WPA or WPA2 password, the network is not secure. As you are probably thinking, this is most places.  The most common public Wi-Fi networks that require a password are internet providers with home you have an account.

2.  Make sure any website you are on has https at the beginning of URL.  

An example of this is https://youraccount.com or https://yourbank.com.  Secure websites will encrypt your information as you use the site.  Unsecured sites do not have the “s” in them, such as http:// (your information is not encrypted and kept safe if you don’t see the “s”)

Unsecured websites will also show a padlock that is unlocked.  Here is an example of what a secured website looks like.  Notice how with website URL with https also has a closed lock.

secure encrypted website

Clicking the lock will reveal more information about the secure site.  Now you can be sure you are on a secured website.

On a mobile website, it will look like this.

secure encrypted mobile website

If you are using a site that is not secure and locked, you open yourself up to hackers that can access your personal accounts and steal your data.  This could mean your name, address, phone number, address book and photos.

Hackers need see you on a public WiFi to be able to monitor our activity, so one sure fire way to to prevent this (regardless of being on an unsecured network) is to encrypt your data by using a trusted VPN. It can be turned on when you wish, such as when you are in public or traveling.

Here are ore ways to protect your personal information when using public Wi-Fi.

  • It is good idea to have different passwords for each of your online accounts. This way if a cyber thief gets a hold of your email and password on one of your accounts, they will be unable to log into other accounts using the same password.
  • Educate yourself on the various ways cyber attacks happen even when you are in the safety of your own home network, such as Phishing, Vishing and SMishing. Hacking through public WiFi is less common than these other methods used.
  • Do not email important information about yourself for any reason.  This includes credit card details, bank account information and your personal government ID number. You should never do this even if a network is secure, not even from home.
  • When accessing accounts in public, whether it is your own computer or a PC in a library, always log out when finished.
  • Take advantage of 2 step verification methods being offered within your personal accounts.  This will add further security because 2 step verification means you cannot log in until you enter a secret code that is sent to you by text or via the Google Authenticator App.

If you are in doubt about the security using any public Wi-Fi network or website, it is best to restrict your activity online to general use, such as searching Google while you are not logged into your Google account.

Do not log into any personal accounts and if you find it necessary to do so, disconnect from Wi-Fi and use your personal cell data.  Even then, it is always important to ensure the websites on your account pages start with https in the URL.  Most major accounts websites are secure, but if you do not see https something may be wrong.

If you are in doubt about the security using any public Wi-Fi network or website, it’s best to restrict your activity online to general use, such as searching Google while you are not logged into your Google account.

Don’t log into any other personal accounts and if you find it necessary to do so, disconnect from Wi-Fi and use your personal cell data.  Even then, it’s always important to ensure the websites on your account pages start with https in the url.  Most major accounts websites are secure, but if you don’t see https something may be wrong.   

You do not have very go far these days to access free public Wi-Fi. It is available in airports, libraries, cafes, hotels and government buildings. This is helpful but it is important for both adults and kids to make sure they do not trade safety and security for convenience. Just because the public building you are in is reputable, does not mean the Wi-Fi connection is secure.

When using your smart phone or computer in a public hotspot, you need to be careful to ensure the Wi-Fi network is encrypted. Otherwise, it opens you up to the risk of having your online accounts hacked. This could result in cyber thieves stealing your personal information.

Here are two basic safety tips to keep in mind to protect your information.  And then we will explore additional ways to stay safe while online in public.

1.  Check to see if the Public Wi-Fi Network is Secure.

As mentioned, we are not worried about the people who control the Wi-Fi network.  The risk is when others around us are in the business of hacking into the personal accounts using the network.  It could be the person sitting across from you in a coffee shop, or just outside on the street. 

If the public Wi-Fi network does not ask you to enter in a WPA or WPA2 password, the network is not secure. As you are probably thinking, this is most places.  The most common public Wi-Fi networks that require a password are internet providers with home you have an account.

2.  Make sure any website you are on has https at the beginning of URL.  

An example of this is https://youraccount.com or https://yourbank.com.  Secure websites will encrypt your information as you use the site.  Unsecured sites do not have the “s” in them, such as http:// (your information is not encrypted and kept safe if you don’t see the “s”)

Unsecured websites will also show a padlock that is unlocked.  Here is an example of what a secured website looks like.  Notice how with website URL with https also has a closed lock.

secure encrypted website

Clicking the lock will reveal more information about the secure site.  Now you can be sure you are on a secured website.

On a mobile website, it will look like this.

secure encrypted mobile website

If you are using a site that is not secure and locked, you open yourself up to hackers that can access your personal accounts and steal your data.  This could mean your name, address, phone number, address book and photos.

Hackers need see you on a public WiFi to be able to monitor our activity, so one sure fire way to to prevent this (regardless of being on an unsecured network) is to encrypt your data by using a trusted VPN. It can be turned on when you wish, such as when you are in public or traveling.

Here are ore ways to protect your personal information when using public Wi-Fi.

  • It is good idea to have different passwords for each of your online accounts. This way if a cyber thief gets a hold of your email and password on one of your accounts, they will be unable to log into other accounts using the same password.
  • Educate yourself on the various ways cyber attacks happen even when you are in the safety of your own home network, such as Phishing, Vishing and SMishing. Hacking through public WiFi is less common than these other methods used.
  • Do not email important information about yourself for any reason.  This includes credit card details, bank account information and your personal government ID number. You should never do this even if a network is secure, not even from home.
  • When accessing accounts in public, whether it is your own computer or a PC in a library, always log out when finished.
  • Take advantage of 2 step verification methods being offered within your personal accounts.  This will add further security because 2 step verification means you cannot log in until you enter a secret code that is sent to you by text or via the Google Authenticator App.

If you are in doubt about the security using any public Wi-Fi network or website, it is best to restrict your activity online to general use, such as searching Google while you are not logged into your Google account.

Do not log into any personal accounts and if you find it necessary to do so, disconnect from Wi-Fi and use your personal cell data.  Even then, it is always important to ensure the websites on your account pages start with https in the URL.  Most major accounts websites are secure, but if you do not see https something may be wrong.

If you are in doubt about the security using any public Wi-Fi network or website, it’s best to restrict your activity online to general use, such as searching Google while you are not logged into your Google account.

Don’t log into any other personal accounts and if you find it necessary to do so, disconnect from Wi-Fi and use your personal cell data.  Even then, it’s always important to ensure the websites on your account pages start with https in the url.  Most major accounts websites are secure, but if you don’t see https something may be wrong.   

How to Develop Good Password Management Habits

Teaching kids about passwords

Selecting an easy to remember password seems like a simple enough thing to do. But when it comes to protecting your online accounts, there are a few important things to consider before you lock in that special password that is all your own and unique to you.

Is your password secure enough? Are you using the same password across multiple accounts? What if someone hacks into a database and learns your password and email address?

Whether it be on social media, cloud backup or a password to your bank account, keeping track of passwords is a hassle. Still, passwords remain to be out first defense against an invasion of privacy that can affect our safety both on and offline. Until fingerprint technology or facial recognition becomes the norm, we all need to learn and develop good password management habits.

Learning Password Management at School

Password management can be an excellent point of discussion that is catered to students of any age that are already choosing their own passwords for their various social media accounts. Here are a few guidelines and tips that can also be used for parents at home, who in many cases are already helping their kids choose passwords for transparency at home and for online protection.

1. The importance of forming a strong password comes before anything else

Make sure your password contains capital letters, numbers, as well as special symbols. Also, do your best to make sure passwords are at least a certain length. These types of passwords may be difficult to remember immediately, so write them down and keep it on a piece of paper at home. Many online accounts save the password on your computer or smart phone app and it may be a while before you have to enter it in again.

If you fail to memorize your password and you didn’t write it down, you can create a new by clicking “forget password”, which will send a password resent link to your email.

2. The dangers of entering one’s password on a public computer

The problem with public computers is that you never know what might be lurking in the shadows. Unless you happen to be the administrator, which you probably aren’t. There might be all sorts of malware hidden in there, including the one that can spy on keystrokes.

Even assuming the computer is clean, there’s always a danger. After all, humans are on the forgetful side of the scale. In other words, your can easily forget to log out of your account and grant full control to the next random person who comes by. Not an ideal situation. Plus, you never know who’s standing behind your back when you enter your password in public.

When using your own phone or computer in a public place, be wary of logging into an account when connected to a public Wi-Fi that does not require users to identity themselves.

3. The problem of trading security for convenience and the reasons why it’s discouraged

Too many people fall into the convenience trap. They start reusing the same password across different websites for the sake of keeping things easy to remember. An additional way to increase security is to learn more about the importance of using a password manager. Thanks to its functionality, users keep the convenience of not having to remember too much. They enable creating different passwords for each account while only having to memorize the master password to access the rest.

Learning Password Management at Home

Often, kids can be more tech-savvy than their parents. But even as a parent you can take the initiative to protect your family with security basics, and beyond, that are often overlooked by those who feel they are already up-to-date on the latest in online safety.

Let’s also not forget that technology is always evolving. Hackers are continually coming up with new ways to gain unlawful access to private databases and accounts. What was good practice for protecting privacy two years ago may not be the best way to go about it today.

1. Remote data wiping technology

Even if you do everything right cybersecurity-wise, what’s stopping you from misplacing or losing your device? Many people tend to be forgetful. So, if you’re not sure where your phone is (especially if you suspect someone has snatched it right out of your pocket), deleting your data before it gets into the wrong hands is a wise course of action. Remote data wiping technology is an insurance policy in this regard.

If you have important information you want to save, you’ll want to set up some sort of online back-up to a cloud account. This way you can easily restore your device if you wipe it clean. Of course, make sure your online back-up account also has a strong password.

2. Two-factor authentication

Malware programs can steal your passwords right from under your nose. With two-factor authentication you can greatly increase protection of your accounts. Two-factor authentication asks anyone logging in to perform an extra step (like entering a PIN from a confirmation SMS) before granting access an account. It can restrict access in case of a data breach or stolen password.

3. Password variations that use the same core are a terrible idea

Never underestimate the creative mind of a hacker. If they can get close to guessing your second password based on another, it won’t take long before they succeed. Randomly generated passwords are a much better idea than different variations of the same password.

4. Personally identifiable information is a no-no

Let’s put it this way. The street where you live, as well as your birthday, are all facts that can be available to anyone. Anyone willing to go to great lengths to get them, that is. Therefore, you should avoid constructing passwords around publicly identifiable information.

5. The importance of changing your passwords often

Changing your passwords regularly is a good cybersecurity practice. But it also tends to be forgotten, especially when many accounts do not require changing your password regularly. Again, with a password manager, having to remember a whole new batch of passwords becomes a non-issue.

No matter your age or expertise, the creation of a good strong password is often taken for granted. Whether it’s a social media account, a website for online shopping, your online banking access – or an app on your phone, each one of your accounts is an online profile of you that’s worth protecting in as many ways that are available.

Selecting an easy to remember password seems like a simple enough thing to do. But when it comes to protecting your online accounts, there are a few important things to consider before you lock in that special password that is all your own and unique to you.

Is your password secure enough? Are you using the same password across multiple accounts? What if someone hacks into a database and learns your password and email address?

Whether it be on social media, cloud backup or a password to your bank account, keeping track of passwords is a hassle. Still, passwords remain to be out first defense against an invasion of privacy that can affect our safety both on and offline. Until fingerprint technology or facial recognition becomes the norm, we all need to learn and develop good password management habits.

Learning Password Management at School

Password management can be an excellent point of discussion that is catered to students of any age that are already choosing their own passwords for their various social media accounts. Here are a few guidelines and tips that can also be used for parents at home, who in many cases are already helping their kids choose passwords for transparency at home and for online protection.

1. The importance of forming a strong password comes before anything else

Make sure your password contains capital letters, numbers, as well as special symbols. Also, do your best to make sure passwords are at least a certain length. These types of passwords may be difficult to remember immediately, so write them down and keep it on a piece of paper at home. Many online accounts save the password on your computer or smart phone app and it may be a while before you have to enter it in again.

If you fail to memorize your password and you didn’t write it down, you can create a new by clicking “forget password”, which will send a password resent link to your email.

2. The dangers of entering one’s password on a public computer

The problem with public computers is that you never know what might be lurking in the shadows. Unless you happen to be the administrator, which you probably aren’t. There might be all sorts of malware hidden in there, including the one that can spy on keystrokes.

Even assuming the computer is clean, there’s always a danger. After all, humans are on the forgetful side of the scale. In other words, your can easily forget to log out of your account and grant full control to the next random person who comes by. Not an ideal situation. Plus, you never know who’s standing behind your back when you enter your password in public.

When using your own phone or computer in a public place, be wary of logging into an account when connected to a public Wi-Fi that does not require users to identity themselves.

3. The problem of trading security for convenience and the reasons why it’s discouraged

Too many people fall into the convenience trap. They start reusing the same password across different websites for the sake of keeping things easy to remember. An additional way to increase security is to learn more about the importance of using a password manager. Thanks to its functionality, users keep the convenience of not having to remember too much. They enable creating different passwords for each account while only having to memorize the master password to access the rest.

Learning Password Management at Home

Often, kids can be more tech-savvy than their parents. But even as a parent you can take the initiative to protect your family with security basics, and beyond, that are often overlooked by those who feel they are already up-to-date on the latest in online safety.

Let’s also not forget that technology is always evolving. Hackers are continually coming up with new ways to gain unlawful access to private databases and accounts. What was good practice for protecting privacy two years ago may not be the best way to go about it today.

1. Remote data wiping technology

Even if you do everything right cybersecurity-wise, what’s stopping you from misplacing or losing your device? Many people tend to be forgetful. So, if you’re not sure where your phone is (especially if you suspect someone has snatched it right out of your pocket), deleting your data before it gets into the wrong hands is a wise course of action. Remote data wiping technology is an insurance policy in this regard.

If you have important information you want to save, you’ll want to set up some sort of online back-up to a cloud account. This way you can easily restore your device if you wipe it clean. Of course, make sure your online back-up account also has a strong password.

2. Two-factor authentication

Malware programs can steal your passwords right from under your nose. With two-factor authentication you can greatly increase protection of your accounts. Two-factor authentication asks anyone logging in to perform an extra step (like entering a PIN from a confirmation SMS) before granting access an account. It can restrict access in case of a data breach or stolen password.

3. Password variations that use the same core are a terrible idea

Never underestimate the creative mind of a hacker. If they can get close to guessing your second password based on another, it won’t take long before they succeed. Randomly generated passwords are a much better idea than different variations of the same password.

4. Personally identifiable information is a no-no

Let’s put it this way. The street where you live, as well as your birthday, are all facts that can be available to anyone. Anyone willing to go to great lengths to get them, that is. Therefore, you should avoid constructing passwords around publicly identifiable information.

5. The importance of changing your passwords often

Changing your passwords regularly is a good cybersecurity practice. But it also tends to be forgotten, especially when many accounts do not require changing your password regularly. Again, with a password manager, having to remember a whole new batch of passwords becomes a non-issue.

No matter your age or expertise, the creation of a good strong password is often taken for granted. Whether it’s a social media account, a website for online shopping, your online banking access – or an app on your phone, each one of your accounts is an online profile of you that’s worth protecting in as many ways that are available.

Student Data Privacy in the Modern Classroom

Student Data Privacy

As we move to distance learning due to the recent health crisis, it’s more important than ever to carefully consider the implications of transferring student data between parents, teachers, and administrators. Educational technology is now a standard across classrooms—so what exactly does that mean for our students?

Risk of Student Data Breaches

From 2018 to 2019, student data breaches tripled. In the worst case, the student’s personally identifiable information, or PII, was sold on the dark web. Even on a small scale, these breaches mean the potential for hackers to decode passwords. In these cases, student’s accounts are compromised, and there have even been reported cases of cyberbullying.

Lengthier Education Records

Years ago, the extent of student data was education records stuffed into file cabinets. Oftentimes, those records were lost or tampered with. Ultimately, they didn’t follow students as far as education records will today. Solidified on the web, students have little room for mistakes in the current climate.

It’s important to consider these factors when employing new chatrooms or technology mediums in classrooms. Ensuring all edtech helps, instead of hinders, student’s futures should be an educator’s number one priority.

Responsible Student Data Privacy in the Classroom

Student data privacy laws on a federal and state level monitor some of these potential risks on a micro-level. As an educator, though, you must take proactive measures to protect student data privacy. Consider the following when implementing education technology in digital and physical classrooms:

  • Follow FERPA Sherpa: Use resources available from the government to understand the concerns with edtech in the classroom.
  • Read the privacy policy: Before having students visit a website, make sure you read the privacy policy thoroughly. It may indicate it sells data to third parties, or worse, does not have a privacy policy in place at all.
  • Follow the school’s approved list: Districts and schools will have an approved list of companies and websites to use in the classroom. Seek out this approval before asking students to use a program or website.
  • Explain best practices: Explain best practices for safe web use to your students, and lead by example. Inform them of the dangers of sharing personal information online and not to believe everything they read online.
  • Avoid clickwrap agreements: If a website in question has a clickwrap agreement, avoid using it in the classroom. These agreements are data-controlling and have free use of information used on their site.
  • Look for secure sites: the “s” in ‘https’ signifies that a webpage is encrypted. Any site where students need to log in to an account should be encrypted.

The advancement of tech in education can be a benefit for efficient, personalized learning, but it’s important to take extra measures to protect the new influx of data. With proper vetting of websites, technologies, and platforms; technology can be an advantage for students, parents, and teachers.

As we move to distance learning due to the recent health crisis, it’s more important than ever to carefully consider the implications of transferring student data between parents, teachers, and administrators. Educational technology is now a standard across classrooms—so what exactly does that mean for our students?

Risk of Student Data Breaches

From 2018 to 2019, student data breaches tripled. In the worst case, the student’s personally identifiable information, or PII, was sold on the dark web. Even on a small scale, these breaches mean the potential for hackers to decode passwords. In these cases, student’s accounts are compromised, and there have even been reported cases of cyberbullying.

Lengthier Education Records

Years ago, the extent of student data was education records stuffed into file cabinets. Oftentimes, those records were lost or tampered with. Ultimately, they didn’t follow students as far as education records will today. Solidified on the web, students have little room for mistakes in the current climate.

It’s important to consider these factors when employing new chatrooms or technology mediums in classrooms. Ensuring all edtech helps, instead of hinders, student’s futures should be an educator’s number one priority.

Responsible Student Data Privacy in the Classroom

Student data privacy laws on a federal and state level monitor some of these potential risks on a micro-level. As an educator, though, you must take proactive measures to protect student data privacy. Consider the following when implementing education technology in digital and physical classrooms:

  • Follow FERPA Sherpa: Use resources available from the government to understand the concerns with edtech in the classroom.
  • Read the privacy policy: Before having students visit a website, make sure you read the privacy policy thoroughly. It may indicate it sells data to third parties, or worse, does not have a privacy policy in place at all.
  • Follow the school’s approved list: Districts and schools will have an approved list of companies and websites to use in the classroom. Seek out this approval before asking students to use a program or website.
  • Explain best practices: Explain best practices for safe web use to your students, and lead by example. Inform them of the dangers of sharing personal information online and not to believe everything they read online.
  • Avoid clickwrap agreements: If a website in question has a clickwrap agreement, avoid using it in the classroom. These agreements are data-controlling and have free use of information used on their site.
  • Look for secure sites: the “s” in ‘https’ signifies that a webpage is encrypted. Any site where students need to log in to an account should be encrypted.

The advancement of tech in education can be a benefit for efficient, personalized learning, but it’s important to take extra measures to protect the new influx of data. With proper vetting of websites, technologies, and platforms; technology can be an advantage for students, parents, and teachers.