Cybersecurity Awareness for School Districts
As schools focus on digital equity and closing the homework gap, cybersecurity awareness for staff, teachers, and students is crucial. One-to-one programs have made laptops and Chromebooks available to more students than ever before. Students rely on technology to research and write their assignments, as well as to work on projects with classmates.
That’s why students and teachers need to empower themselves by outsmarting hackers. The threat landscape is dynamic. Hackers are continually looking for new ways to trick people, and school districts are not immune. Being safe while using technology in education is easy if you follow a few simple pieces of advice.
Incorporating cybersecurity into district training and curriculum helps foster a cybersecurity mindset.
Here are 3 ways K-12 students and teachers can promote IT security.
1) Think before you click.
Suspicious emails and websites may play on your emotions, encouraging you to act quickly. A message may seem to come from a friend, principal, or teacher. It may ask you for help or to click on a helpful link.
Take a little time to really look at the message before responding. Ask yourself:
- Is the email coming from an unfamiliar address?
- Are there spelling or grammatical errors in the message?
- Is the message asking you for personal information?
These are all easy-to-read clues that the message is suspicious and could contain links infected with malware, such as ransomware. All you need to do is delete the message to beat the bad guys. If you receive a suspicious email, you can spread the word by letting fellow students and teachers know what to watch out for.
2) Become security aware.
Educate yourself about how to identify and avoid suspicious emails and website links. Phishing emails are a popular method the bad guys use to try to get into your school’s records.
Becoming aware of these threats and the tell-tale signs of phishing emails makes them easy to avoid. Practice exercises will help students and teachers become familiar with the characteristics of phishing emails so they can avoid opening them and clicking on infected links.
3) Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
One way the bad guys play on your emotions is by offering you something tempting if you click on a link or do a favor for them. Hackers might offer you a gift card for filling out a survey or promise to send you money if you pick up some gift cards and send the serial numbers to them.
If the deal sounds too good to be true, don’t respond or click on anything. Just delete the message. It’s as easy as that.
The First Line of Security Defense
In K-12 IT security, you are the first line of defense. By following IT security best practices, you can prevent breaches of school systems. However, you don’t need to take on IT security all by yourself. Cisco provides leading solutions for a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity that protects the school’s network and student devices.
As a Cisco Gold Partner, Ednetics can help your school strengthen its approach to IT security with leading technology. We help K-12 schools prioritize cybersecurity with preventative technology, awareness training, and backup and recovery for defense against ransomware.
Our extensive and successful track record working with school districts equips us to develop cybersecurity solutions that meet the needs of K-12 schools to keep students and teachers safe and empower them to make the right decisions when using technology.
Find out more about what Ednetics does for K-12 schools. Visit our website.