3 ways students can stay safe while learning online in 2021

Skooli is devoted to our students’ success no matter what challenges this year may bring. 

Until Covid-19 vaccines are readily available, students will continue schooling virtually for the foreseeable future. 

We understand that learning from home brings its own unique set of challenges. That is why we want to help make this transition a lot smoother for you and your kids. 

Although remote learning is on the rise, it’s important to note the risks that come with an online learning environment.

Since September, cyberattacks in schools across the country have increased dramatically. These attacks can leak very sensitive information and can potentially cost thousands of dollars to recover from.

Thankfully, there are safety options designed to help students struggling with online learning.

Our online tutors take the time to personalize your learning journey and work around your schedule for optimal success.

It’s important to know the different precautions you can take to keep your family’s devices and personal information safe. 

Small steps today can lead to a big impact in the long run! 

Let’s take a look at the 3 ways students can maintain safety while learning online in 2021: 

  • Understand the risks associated with online learning? 
  • Learn how to prevent an attack 
  • Know the benefits and drawbacks of connected learning 

1. Understand the risks associated with online learning

A cyber attack could mean:

  • Loss of personal data
  • Virus and malware installation
  • Hardware corruption
  • School delays/cancelations

Cyber attacks can collect personal information like email addresses, download harmful viruses or even ask for ransom money in exchange for data recovery.

There is the potential for every device in your house to be impacted by an attack if everything is connected to one central network.

Some attacks may be less invasive, like collecting personal data, but more serious attacks that try to download viruses onto your computer may require a lot more work to try and fix. 

Personal risks aside, a cyber breach within a school’s computer network would have widespread effects.

If students are connected to the school’s network, then the breach could reach all the devices connected.

Thankfully, solutions such as identity and access management programs are easy to implement and protect user credentials, limiting the chance of a cyber attack happening.

2. Learn how to prevent an attack

Learning how to prevent an attack should always be your first action step. 

The first method is by ensuring all the passwords for your online accounts are unique. 

If one account is broken into, it won’t allow that person to access the information to your other accounts.

Some people opt to write their passwords down on paper; others use password manager programs to keep track of this information for them. 

Tip: change your password every six months to a year and come up with something that has a mix of letters, numbers and special characters for extra safety.

You can also increase your security by updating your privacy settings on frequently used websites and apps. 

Social media networks are notorious for not being transparent about user privacy, so double check your privacy settings to make sure they are at levels you are comfortable with.

The higher the level of your privacy settings, the less likely you’ll fall victim to an attack. 

Most importantly, no more spam messages from fake accounts and friend requests from people you don’t actually know!

For students interested in digital tutoring to supplement their learning, the Skooli digital classroom is a safe program offering personalized and protected access to a tutor whenever you need them.

The goal is for students to focus on their lessons and not worry about any potential risks while using their devices!

3. Know the benefits and drawbacks of connected learning

The Census reports over 93% of U.S. households participating in some kind of online learning in 2020. 

Although transitioning to online learning was an unexpected experience for students, there have been many successes as well.

Access to the internet is a great advantage if you’re the type of learner who needs a concept explained in many different ways.

Using a search engine for some questions will give you instant access to tons of information on that particular topic, so you don’t have to feel lost sitting on the classroom video call.

If your school is loaning students and families devices, you don’t have to worry about separating personal documents and school-related files. 

Although there are benefits to digital learning, there are also some disadvantages worth mentioning.

A common challenge students face when learning digitally is not having the same access to help when they’re feeling stuck. 

Of course, we are here to help. Our online tutors can meet you at your level and help you reach your academic goals during these stressful times.

Another challenge of online learning is the feeling of disconnection from friends and peers.

When people feel lonely they often turn to their devices to connect with others, so it is vital to have solid security measures in place!

So, what’s next?

It is important to evaluate your computer security measures, especially if you’re using loaned equipment. 

Emailing a school teacher or administrator right away is also a good idea if you think one of your devices may have been targeted.

Starting good security habits now will ensure that your future technology is protected as well!

You might also want to talk with your parents or guardians about what they do to keep their devices safe, as you might find out that there’s actually some room for improvement.

If you are interested in learning more about online tutoring, you can check out our blog post where we discuss the five benefits of online tutoring.

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