More than ever, a lot of teaching is occurring over the internet. If you’re a student online, you’ve probably hit some roadblocks as the year progresses. From internet issues to sound glitches, a lot can go wrong when you’re learning from your computer. But one of the biggest concerns teachers, parents, and students have is about safety in online learning. This article will give you a few easy ways to make sure you are safe to learn.
“Safety” can mean a lot of different things when you’re talking about the internet. One of the frequent ways people expose themselves to danger online is by having weak passwords or using the same passwords for multiple accounts. If you’re the parent of a young student using a few different accounts for online learning, help them to set up their username and password by using a strong combination of lower and uppercase letters, and special figures or numbers. Save their passwords in a good password manager, and they’ll never have to ask you for help logging in again.
If you’re a teacher setting up a learning platform for your students, consider using multi-factor authentication. You might be asking “what is multi-factor authentication?” If an account requires a user to provide additional credentials beyond a password to log in, such as a one-time passcode from their phone or a fingerprint, that is multi-factor authentication. It’s a great way to ensure your students are extra safe, even if their password is compromised.
Whether you are a student or a parent, it’s important as you move to learning online that you start off the transition by laying down some ground rules together. Even if your browsing is restricted to purely school-related pages, it’s likely at some point you’ll come across something that could be potentially dangerous. Make sure you know to never give out personal information, including name and address, and to come get a parent if you have questions about what you’re being asked to disclose.
Know that it’s not okay to share personal photos online, and that stranger danger carries over onto the internet. Don’t click on any pop-up ads or any emails that aren’t from a known source. Lastly, ensure that as a teen you feel comfortable bringing any questions or problems to your parents. By setting these ground rules, you’ll be able to quickly eliminate a lot of common problems with high schoolers on the internet.
The increased use of the internet for learning means that students need either constant supervision or a lot of safeguards in place to make sure they’re secure. While it would be overkill for parents to hover over your shoulder as you do your schoolwork, parents must be able to easily monitor your activity online.
This might mean placing the computer or laptop in a common area of the house, such as the kitchen, where your parents can easily glance at the screen from time to time. Be aware of every site you use for school, and understand that it’s important to find a balance between trust and monitoring between you and your parents.
There are many security and privacy features you can download to do everything from alerting you to dangerous activity to restricting the search function on Google and YouTube. By maintaining a general awareness of what you do everyday on your devices, you’ll be able to prevent a lot of harm from being done.
If you haven’t been doing so, now is a good time to brush up on your own internet safety! Having a good ad blocker extension and anti-viral apps can go a long way towards protecting you from danger online. Use these tips to make sure you can learn safely and effectively from home.