Cyber Safety for Students: 5 Ways to Protect Privacy

Whether you are a teacher or parent of students who have access to smartphones and the internet each day, it is important to educate any student in your life about the importance of protecting their privacy.

With the rise of online hacking, identity theft, phishing, and data breaches, protecting the privacy and security are now more important than ever. Using a few tips, show your student or child how to take control of their own privacy and identity each time they are online.

Create an Ongoing Dialogue About Online Safety and Privacy

One of the first steps to help students become more aware of their own online safety, security, and privacy, is to create an ongoing dialogue about the matters. Discuss what it means to be safe online while also sharing various tips on how to properly navigate in a browser and how to identify scams such as phishing attempts or fraud scams.

When your student or child does not feel judged when discussing their browsing habits or issues they have encountered online, they are more likely to turn to you if they ever find themselves in trouble or their personal information and data compromised. Ensure students that it is important to seek out the help of an adult anytime they believe their account information or personal data has been compromised by a website, a hacker, or even a total stranger.

Update Privacy Settings

Spend time teaching students how to update all of the privacy settings they have in place for online accounts they have registered to their names. Inform students that social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and even Pinterest all have the right to update their privacy policies as well as their terms and condition policies at any time.

Request that your students take the time to search for their full names along with their preferred usernames on search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Allowing students to research themselves is an eye-opener and can send home the message that it is imperative to maintain strict privacy settings whenever you are online.

Use a Reliable VPN Service Provider

A VPN, also known as ‘Virtual Private Network’, is a method used to create a secure connection while browsing online and remaining anonymous at all times. VPNs are more popular than ever with the rise of online hacking, identify theft, and phishing. Using a VPN is simple and only requires a few dollars a month to help students remain completely anonymous anytime they are browsing online, chatting with friends, or making a purchase.

Using a VPN is not only a way to ensure anonymity while browsing the internet, but it is also a way to drastically increase overall privacy and security anywhere online.

But don’t be fooled! Always read professional reviews online before going to buy any service provider.

For example, you would think that AzireVPN is a solid choice, and perhaps it is, but based on the vpnAlert team’s review it’s not the best bang for the buck. It is also ideal for anyone who does not want to be tracked online by websites and marketers.

Choose Passwords Wisely

Discuss why it is so important to choose passwords wisely anytime you are talking about online privacy and security. If your students are using passwords that include personal details such as their pet’s name, their favorite color, or even their school name, they have a much greater risk of becoming the target of an online hacker, thief, or scammer.

Some tips to share with students about choosing their passwords wisely include:

  • Avoid Easy Passwords: Never choose a password that includes your pet’s name, your current town, or even your birthday, as these are all easy for hackers to guess and hack.
  • Use Special Characters: Use special characters whenever possible while choosing a new password. Most passwords can include characters such as exclamation points and hyphens.
  • Add Numbers: Use a unique numerical combination in your password that is not relevant to your personal life with each password you choose.

Read Privacy Policies and Data Collection Notices

Inform your students that privacy policies and data collecting policies can and do often change at any time with various companies and online entities. It is important to always read the privacy policies any time you are registering as a member of a new website or creating an email account that will store and hold your personal information.

Without reading privacy policies and terms of conditions in their entirety, your students run the risk of having their personal information and any data they upload stolen or used without their permission.

When you are familiar with various scams and hacking attempts that are happening around the world, it is much easier to share tools and necessary safety precautions with your own students in the classroom or at home.

With the right safety measures, ensure your student or child is always protected whenever they are browsing online, chatting with friends, or sharing personal information with stores and secure websites.

Lewis Mitchell

Lewis Mitchell is a freelance writer from the U.K. who specializes in technology and Internet niches.