Five tips to be cyber safe at school“Your identity is one of the most valuable things you have”.

Being able to prove who you are is a vital aspect of everyday life and, as much of our identity is now utilised online, cyber security and identity theft are important topics to address. The same can be said for schools, which face concerns about security breaches as they continue to transition to online learning models.

At Jacaranda, we take our cyber safety very seriously and ensure that we’re proactive about protecting our customers. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of tips to help students, parents and teachers keep their identity safe:

  • Check for site security: To see whether or not an eCommerce site is security enabled, simply take a quick glance at the URL. If it begins with ‘https://’, then it is security enabled and takes extra measures to secure your information. If it begins with ‘http://’, then it is not secure. This is important information to know before making payments online.
  • Have a secure password: While it may seem obvious, having a secure password for each and every online account is one of the most important things you can do for your own cyber security. The usual advice applies here: try to have a mix of capital letters, lowercase, numbers and symbols and try to have different passwords for each account. Many schools will require periodic password updates which are also useful for protecting your accounts. There are also apps (free and paid) that can help store complex passwords s – a future ‘Tech of the month’ app perhaps?
  • Only connect to a trusted wifi source: Devices at school should always be connected to the school’s wifi which will be a trusted and secure source. However, taking these devices off-site can cause problems depending on the source. Wifi at home is generally trusted and should be secure, but be wary of connecting to other ‘public’ wifi spots.
  • Only click on trusted sources: We’ve all received spam in our inbox. While some emails are more obvious than others, it’s the ones that are more subtle that cause the greatest concern. Before opening an email or clicking on any link, verify that it has been sent from a trusted source. Additionally, as a general rule, it’s better to err on the side of caution. If you’re unsure whether a source or link is trustworthy, it’s best just to ignore it. “When in doubt, throw it out”.
  • Educate students on cyber security: Getting students involved in being proactive with cyber security is an important life lesson. While many schools have dedicated programs to handle this, it helps to educate students as soon as possible about security risks and how to avoid them. For younger year levels, this cyber security for kids quiz might be the perfect resource to teach them a few lessons in an enjoyable way.

Remember, networks are at their most secure when everyone on the network is proactive about cyber security. Parents, teachers and students should work together to ensure online safety is taught and kept up to date. Let us know in the comments below how your school is working towards creating cyber security – we’d be interested to hear.