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Consider peppering in some of these cybersecurity best practices among the morsels of wisdom you offer before the first day of school: Some public schools prioritize putting laptops or tablets in the hands of every student free of charge. Others might rent out devices, or allow students to bring their own devices for learning purposes. For starters, find out if there are any restrictions on device usage to avoid confiscation.
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Consider peppering in some of these cybersecurity best practices among the morsels of wisdom you offer before the first day of school: Some public schools prioritize putting laptops or tablets in the hands of every student free of charge. Others might rent out devices, or allow students to bring their own devices for learning purposes. For starters, find out if there are any restrictions on device usage to avoid confiscation.

These manipulative or deceitful messages trick users into giving away sensitive information and downloading malware. That means encouraging them not to engage in conversations with strangers online. In that case, tell them not to give out personal information. Tell them to avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown senders. Have a backup Say your high school student gets ransomware on his or her laptop. You can tell your kids to create backup versions of key documents.

Encourage them to save important documents college essays, homework assignments to the cloud. Google Drive, Apple, DropBox and others offer free and inexpensive secure storage options. Public Wi-Fi: Man-in-the-middle attacks and fake Wi-Fi hotspots posing as say, a Starbucks network, can easily lead to data theft.

Encourage your kids and other adults for that matter to stay off public Wi-Fi. We recommend using a free password manager to make it easier to keep track of them. Other password tips: Caution against sharing passwords with friends. Encourage kids to lock their devices with a fingerprint or face scan when the option exists.

Consider physical passwords — that is, cable locks to keep laptops secure. Have a frank talk about cyber responsibilities Parents often give children devices so they can do their homework, work on school projects and collaborate with other students. Digital devices also help students learn more about technology, which has become integral to functioning in society. Still, kids will use their devices for entertainment and other functions that extend beyond school.

Parental-control tools can help you blacklist certain content and in some cases even log call and text history. Caution your kids against sharing information with strangers online the web. Make them aware of the signs of cyberbullying on social media, and encourage them to notify a responsible adult if they see it happening. It may be a touchy or even contentious subject, but technology is part of our world, and we need to encourage its responsible use among our children — in school and in everyday life.

Install antivirus protection It almost goes without saying, but if you add a digital device to your list of back-to-school supplies, add a reputable antivirus, too. Avast offers free and paid versions of its device-protection software.

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