This school year many students are trading classrooms for living rooms and notebooks for laptops. Due to the global pandemic, schools are doing their best to create an online learning experience that will minimize health risks and continue to educate students well. However, this new digital effort will also increase the potential for online risks. Students need to be informed about digital privacy and security and how to protect themselves and their data. This expands upon the basic tech skills that schools should be instilling in students.  

Using the Internet Safely

Students are often left in the dark when it comes to how the internet works, much less how to protect themselves. To the average student, the internet is simply a means to an end – the end being social media, video and music streaming, whatever platform or app is trending, and, particularly during this time, online courses. Due to increasing amounts of time online, it’s imperative that students are taught how to use the internet safely. This goes far beyond saying “Don’t cyberbully.” and calling it a day. Whether it’s taught as a mandatory standalone course or combined with existing course materials, this information should cover topics such as:

  • When it’s appropriate to disclose private data
  • How to make strong and unique passwords for online accounts
  • What VPNs are and how they work
  • Why you should avoid public wi-fi when possible
  • The importance of adjusting privacy settings
  • How to spot scams and phishing attempts
  • Additional best practices for protecting your data (software updates, blocking trackers, etc.)

Managing Your Digital Self

Another important aspect of using the internet is understanding how to manage your online persona. We share large amounts of data about ourselves online. A little here and a little there quickly adds up. Knowing how this information comes together to form your digital self is key to grasping the importance of online privacy and how your data is used. We recently did a series covering the ins and outs of managing the data you share online.

This type of information should also be included when educating students about digital privacy and security.  

We Want to Help

We, at Ghostery, want to help keep students secure during this remote learning adventure. Until August 31st, we’re offering 20% off the first two months of our Plus and Premium subscription plans with code GHOSTYSCHOOL. Check out this video for more details.