Back to online school: Keeping your kids safe during remote learning

Digital Now

COLORADO SPRINGS — Remote learning means more time online and more opportunities for scammers to phish.  

“Nothing is perfect and will catch everything. A lot of this rests are on our shoulders to make sure that we’re paying attention,” said Mathew Newfield, Chief Information Security Officer, for Unisys. 

As several school districts in the Pikes Peak region prepare to start the school year remotely, cybersecurity experts are warning parents; are at particular risk for scams and viruses.

“When they get information, and especially in email or social media, or other avenues online, a lot of them, their first inclination is that whatever is coming must be good and must be truthful,” Newfield said. 

To help keep them safe, experts recommend getting software support, such as a “nanny software” that can supervise your kids and monitor sites they visit.

“Reviewing the information with them once a week, I think is a very healthy activity to do. Because then it gets rid of the paranoia that you’re doing something to your child that they might not like,” 

For younger kids, check in with them at least once a day and talk about the sites they visit, let them know they can always come to you with questions. 

And always keep work and play separate.

“A lot of schools are giving children laptops, or desktops, or devices to use for school, and that’s one way to separate,” Newfield said. 

If one device is being used for both school and play, you can create different user accounts. 

“Teach your child that when they log in with the work, it’s the same situation. No video games, don’t surf the internet, really focus on your schoolwork. And when you’re ready to play, log out and log back in with your personal account. And it will start teaching that mindset, which will really help them as they grow and get into universities and go to corporations where there are specific rules in a lot of companies of what you can and cannot do on work devices. Teaching that at an early age I think, is very important,” Newfield said. 

And of course, be wary of suspicious-looking emails, verify all hyperlinks by checking the source address.

You can do that by scrolling over it with your mouse. 

And make sure your passwords are strong.

“A lot of people don’t realize that some of these devices they brought into their house actually have cameras on them, or they listening microphones. So, what we’re recommending is to look around your house at things you would consider a smart device and go to the manufacturer’s website of those devices and figure out how to harden them,” Newfield said. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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