As we celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it is crucial for us to highlight the importance of online security for students, parents, and all adults using SBISD online tools and resources.
The world of technology is ever evolving, and it is everyone’s responsibility to stay informed and proactive so that we all can safeguard personal information and guide our children. Neglecting to protect ourselves and ignoring digital security risks can have significant consequences, including damaged devices, falling victim to scams, and an increased risk of identity theft or data breaches.
Imagine this scenario: A student, trying to play online games with friends, downloads a file-sharing program that infects their personal computer with a harmful virus. It is a reminder that all online activities could be maliciously exploited to obtain personal information such as phone numbers, addresses, dates of birth, and even Social Security numbers.
While the district uses antivirus software, filtering and threat detection tools to keep all users on the network safe one of the best protections is Digital Citizenship. During this time of year, your student will receive grade appropriate lessons on strong passwords, never sharing personal information, and device care. These practices can also keep your home network safe!
We take digital security seriously in SBISD. We also recognize that we all have separate, personal digital lives. To ensure online safety for students and ourselves, here are some best practices for your student and family:
Create unbreakable passwords: Encourage your student to create strong passwords that include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. It is vital for them to avoid using personal details like addresses in their passwords.
As parents, lead by example and use complex passwords when accessing SBISD online resources and tools. The SBISD Technology team has implemented new authentication and password requirements this school year to enhance safety and security online. If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to update your Skyward Family Access password to ensure your account is fortified using these new requirements.
Safeguard against downloads: Educate your child about the potential dangers of downloading content from non-secure sources. Free games and videos often come bundled with spyware and viruses. Encourage your student to only use district-approved software at school and to talk with you before downloading software on a home computer.
As parents, stay vigilant and pay attention to what your child is looking at and accessing online. You can guide them towards safe and reliable sources of entertainment at home.
Think before sharing personal information: Teach your student to never share personal information online such as their full name, address or account information. The district will never request their username or password via email.
They should approach messages that request private information with skepticism, as they could be potential scams. Reinforce this by monitoring online interactions, personal phone settings and discussing the importance of digital privacy and security.
Identify and handle spam: Help your child understand that spam is like digital junk mail and should never be opened. Opening spam emails or texts often leads to receiving more of them. Avoid opening emails or clicking on text links from unfamiliar senders or addresses. You can share how to identify and report spam emails to keep their personal inboxes clean and safe. To report spam texts to the FCC, forward the texts to 7726 (SPAM).
Take control of data collection: Empower your student to take control of their information by disabling internet cookies, which prevent companies from tracking online behavior, and routinely reviewing settings on personal devices such as smart phones. Encourage them to exercise caution while clicking on ads or allowing requests by AirDrop or Nearby Sharing.
The district reviews the licensing agreements and privacy policies for all district-approved resources. We encourage you to do the same for your family’s personal devices before downloading or sharing any personal information.
By following these guidelines together, we can equip our students with the necessary knowledge to navigate the online world safely.
Let's work together to protect our families from the ever-present cyber threats.
Click here to visit the SBISD Technology Services Department website.