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Keep Your Children Safe during Virtual Schooling

Minimize the Potential Cyber Threats Related to Online Learning 

Almost every country across the world is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. Virtual working and learning have become the norm in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. A vast majority of the schools across the U.S. have turned to some form of virtual learning and children of all ages are spending long hours on the World Wide Web. 

The internet is a great tool for learning, researching, completing school assignments, interacting with classmates and teachers, and staying in touch with friends. However, without adequate safeguards and supervisory measures, children may be vulnerable to: 

  • Cyberbullying 
  • Exposure to inappropriate content
  • Identity theft by online predators or fraudsters
  • Other types of cybercrime

As responsible parents, you should be aware of what your children read, watch, and hear on the internet, as well as who they interact with, and how much they share about themselves. The information and data destruction experts at TITAN Mobile Shredding offer suggestions on making children cyber aware and cyber secure throughout their online activities. 

Safety Tips to Protect Children during Online Learning and Other Online Activities

Studies suggest that over 65% of children aged 8 to 14 have experienced some form of cyberbullying at some point in their lifetime. This includes harassment, impersonation, exclusion, flaming, cyberstalking, denigration, trickery, outing, and more. Over 70% children accidentally encounter sexual or violent content online during web searches related to projects or homework. A recent UNICEF report also warns of children being at increased risk of harm online during the coronavirus pandemic. With several imminent threats lurking around internet usage, your child’s online safety becomes even more critical. 

Whether it is virtual learning, partial remote learning, homeschooling, or screen time for socializing or unwinding, here are the top 10 best practices to help keep your child cybersecure: 

  1. Inquire and understand the school’s e-learning policies and check whether they have any inbuilt safeguards in place when the child attends virtual classrooms.
  2. Familiarize yourself with all the technology platforms that the child needs to use, including video chat services or other apps, tools or research sites.
  3. Discourage online interactions from the bedrooms. As far as possible, set up the online learning activities in high traffic areas where you or another adult has a line of sight on the child’s activities.
  4. Wherever possible, follow the two-adult rule online and avoid any one-on-one live video exchanges between the teachers and your child.
  5. Have open dialogues with your child to create awareness about the potential threats related to internet usage. Establish some ground rules and conduct routine chats to ask them how and with whom they communicate online.
  6. Use parental app controls to review, manage, approve, or block any app downloads or in-app purchases.
  7. Keep an eye on the browser history of all the devices that your child uses to ensure that they do not venture into any inappropriate sites. Watch for any signs of distress related to their online activities.
  8. Remain vigilant and continue to actively engage your child in age-appropriate conversations about online safety related to a variety of scenarios.
  9. Stay updated on the school policies for highlighting inefficiencies in the online learning systems. 
  10. Keep numbers to support helplines handy in case your child encounters any disturbing activities online.

Keep Physical Records Safe and Secure 

From exam papers, graded mark sheets, and annual reports, to books and other schooling related documents, there are many physical records that may contain your child’s name, address, contact details, and other personal or sensitive information. Hence, in addition to online safety, teach your child how to preserve and destroy all types of confidential or sensitive paper records. Creating awareness about safe storage and secure disposal of physical files and folders at an early age will go a long way in making your child a responsible and vigilant adult. 

Lead by example by keeping your home office safe, and ensuring adequate cybersecurity while working from home. For the complete and permanent destruction of confidential physical records, as well as hard drives and digital media, count on a NAID AAA Certified company, such as TITAN Mobile Shredding.

Call (866) 848-2699 or contact us online to learn more about our residential shredding services in and around Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Area.

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