Posts by

Myron Grover


Cyber Security for Kids — Best Practices to Keep Kids Safe

SurfWisely Synopsis

Why does this matter to me?

Parents — With the amount of time our students spend online today, we need to be proactive about cybersecurity and internet safety. Kids need to learn about protecting themselves, their friends, and their devices online. Implementing fun and engaging programming to teach them these skills can ensure they enjoy the lessons and take in the teachings, too.

Principals and School Administrators — With kids spending so much time on both school devices and smartphones, cybersecurity has become a part of your career. By teaching students to protect themselves, their friends, and their devices online, you can prevent troubles like identity theft, cyberbullying, viruses, and more. Gamified cybersecurity programming can make the process fun for everyone involved, too.

Tech Teachers — Cybersecurity is at the heart of your career, but it’s not always something students want to hear. By implementing a gamified program to teach these skills, you take one topic off your already-full plate and protect students’ online safety at the same time. Hop down to the last paragraph of this post to learn more.

More Cybersecurity Best Practices for Kids

Our kids are growing up in a whole new world. Because of the presence the internet plays in our society, students need to learn to protect themselves online at an early age. If they’re old enough to be browsing online, they’re ready to learn the basics of cyber security.

Cyber security for kids can be broken down into the three categories shown below:

Protecting Yourself

The internet can be a dangerous place — yes, even for yourself. This is a lesson that kids need to learn in order to be as safe as possible while using technology. Some top tools to teach your students about protecting themselves online include:

  1. Keeping private information, such as birth dates, addresses, full names, phone numbers, credit cards, and bank information private to prevent identity theft.
  2. When entering sensitive information, ensuring that the site is safe, the device is private, and encrypted text is utilized at all times. 
  3. Password management skills and the real-life effects that can come from hacking and similar cyber threats and cyber-attacks.

Protecting Your Friends

These days, students can protect others online as much as they can protect themselves. The most effective way they can support those around them through internet safety is to stop cyberbullying in its tracks.

Kids can help prevent and stop cyberbullying attempts by:

  1. Acting as a positive role model while utilizing social media, always promoting kindness and respect for others with posts, tags, shares, etc.
  2. Telling an adult right away when cyberbullying occurs. 
  3. Standing up for friends who fall victim to cyberbullying on social networking when it is safe to do so.

Protecting Your Devices

Protecting the technology used to access the internet is another huge topic for students to master. It’s essential is saving the high-priced tools they use for homework —and real work in the future— and it helps protect the devices that belong to their school districts, too.

  1. Learn to spot malware and other phishing scams, as well as the negative effects that can occur when they’re clicked on — hacked accounts, stolen data or private information, internally damaged hardware and devices, etc.
  2. Use privacy settings, strong passwords, and multi-factor authentication to ensure only authorized users can access devices in your care.
  3. Use wifi passwords and protection to secure private connections at all times.

As you can see, cyber safety isn’t always common sense. These lessons need to be taught to students to protect them against hackers, cybercriminals, cyberbullies, and more. Incorporate the tips above into your class curriculum or at-home lesson plans, and reach out to the team at SurfWisely if you need any support. Our easy-to-implement, gamified software is a fun and effective way to teach cyber security for kids.


Internet Filtering — A Simple Way to Keep Students Safe and Protect School Devices

SurfWisely Synopsis

Why does this matter to me?

Parents — Internet safety is a huge concern in your children’s lives. With the help of internet filters, you can trust they’ll be kept to safe content during the school day. Internet filters can help prevent cyberbullying, cyber predators, identity theft, viruses on devices, and more. They can also help your child avoid inappropriate content online. Sharing the details of these tools with your child can help them understand the important work they do, instead of feeling limited by their presence.

Principals and School Administrators — Keeping kids safe online is a huge piece of your job, and school devices are important to protect, too. Web filtering can help you block access to inappropriate content, and not just the sites that are mandated. Social media, fake news sites, malware addresses, and more. You can have your tech staff teach about the tools, too, so students understand the dangers they’re up against and what the blockers they experience are trying to accomplish.

Tech Teachers — What sites should you block to keep your students and devices safe? How can you explain the need for site blockers to your students in a way that will educate and empower them, instead of making them feel micromanaged? Teach the purpose of internet filters and the basics of the dangers they aim to prevent — cyberbullying, identity theft, predators, viruses on devices, etc. Keeping kids safe is simpler with technology on your side — and with students who understand the purpose.

More About Internet Filters for Schools

As we briefly mentioned above, content filtering accomplishes two important tasks — keeping kids safe throughout their internet access and protecting school devices. Each of these aspects is explained in detail below.

How Web Filtering Keep Kids Safe

Internet filters became the norm in schools in 2001, due to the passing of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). This act required schools to filter websites and pages that included harmful or inappropriate content, monitor their online activity of minors, and provide basic training on cyberbullying and appropriate online behavior.

CIPA is still in place today, but the internet has evolved extensively since 2001. We no longer limit our concerns to these three spaces. Students need to be protected from:

  • Increased levels and complexity of cyberbullying
  • Cyberpredators
  • Identity theft and other losses of personal information
  • Phishing scams and malware

With these concerns, the blacklist websites can vary by age, school district, and more. Social media, for example, may not be directly dangerous, but it is filled with potential threats to students. It wouldn’t be blocked under CIPA, but many schools are needing to make similar adjustments to protect students in todays’ times.

And with internet filtering, students can be protected from many of the online dangers that enter their schools’ walls.

How Web Filtering Protect School Devices

School internet safety concerns aren’t just about students — though they are where our main focus lies. We also need to look into devices. School computers, laptops, and tablets take up a significant chunk of the budget when purchased. And we can’t let the high cost go to waste.

Internet filters can help keep school devices safe by blocking sites that are known to include malware. Some commonly blocked sites include:

  • Suspicious domains
  • Gambling sites
  • Gaming sites
  • Fake news sites
  • Social media

Many schools also utilize a popup blocker as part of their internet filter to keep students from falling for real-time phishing scams that appear on their computers.

Keeping Students From Working Around Internet Filters

There’s no doubt that our students are incredibly smart. If we block access to a site, they often find a way to get past the barrier and view the content anyway. By training students on the importance of cybersecurity tools like web filtering software, we can help them stay motivated to keep themselves and their devices safe at all times — even if it means skipping a game of social media post for the day.

If you need help implementing a fun and engaging internet safety program for your K-12 school, reach out to SurfWisely today. Our gamified app is educational and enjoyable, giving you and your class the power to stay as safe as possible throughout internet usage.

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