Children and grandchildren are heading back to school and oftentimes learning via computer. The new normal also now must include distance learning cyber security tips that we need to consider for our children. Are your children safe on their computers?
The Washington Post published an article sharing distance learning cyber security tips as well that is worth reading. Data breaches can happen in every state and phishing attacks might be the most likely problem students can face while working on computers at home. Also in the news was a cyber attack by a student in Miami to kick off the school year there.
Of course, it would be nice if people would just stop trying to steal our personal information, interrupt positive technology use and use their computer skills for good. In the unfortunate and continued absence of that happening we need to follow distance learning cyber security tips. Those aren’t necessarily that different from regular internet security tips that we share frequently on our blog.
There are more tips below and you can call us at (888) 965-0171 and we will check if your setup is secure.
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Many school districts are giving school-issued laptops to their students to use at home. Some students qualify for school-issued hotpots as well. Those computers should be set up correctly and securely but we are always happy to check for you as well.
As we mentioned recently, vishing attacks are also something to be aware of!
Using safe WiFi
If your student ends up working on public WiFi for one reason or another, make sure to follow our tips here. When it comes to your WiFi system at home, follow these tips.
The year 2020 certainly has been interesting and the new school year with children working at home, parents working at home and more things happening over Zoom it continues. In addition to the tips above for your WIFi make sure to follow other basic tips:
- Be aware of what systems are being used! If you don’t use Dropbox, don’t click phishing “Dropbox” emails to reset your password.
- Use a VPN
- Maintain a firewall
- Use antivirus
Make sure antivirus is up to date
Today, Windows 10 users are finding fewer problems than ever. That’s because it comes with Windows Defender. Microsoft is providing its users with an excellent antivirus protection program built-into the latest edition of Windows. If you are a Windows user and thinking of an upgrade, this feature alone might be reason enough to make your move now. But if you are using an earlier version of Windows, there are other options out there that could be just as effective.
Types of PC Antivirus Software
Free: These types of Windows antivirus products, such as Windows Defender, generally offers only bare-bones protection. Malware updates and scans must often be manually initiated. There also is seldom any protection against malicious websites or email attachments.
Basic: The least-expensive paid Windows antivirus products to give you basic overall protection. This includes antivirus definition updates with automatic scanning. Also, websites and email attachments are screened. These products are, overall, easy to use but limited in functionality.
Mid-Range: Generally, they build on the basic packages by bundling in parental controls and a two-way firewall to catch outgoing data, although many add other features. You’ll have to pony up for one of the premium antivirus products if you want all the perks.
Premium: Top-tier packages are often suites because they do much more than catch malware. Added features often include file encryption, secure online storage, a password manager, or an ad blocker. Some suites cover multiple devices, they also frequently bundle in licenses for Mac and Android antivirus software.
Business Class: This is the top of the line end-point protection for your system. Often bundled with RMM software this option allows for Remote Monitoring and Management of your computer. Updates and scans are done regularly and automatically.
When threats are identified, a managed service provider (such as Rush Tech Support) will notify the client of the threat and advise on the best course of action. Webroot working in conjunction with Syncro is an example of this type of protection.
Your Mac Now Needs Antivirus Protection
In the past, Apple has maintained that its Mac OS does not need antivirus software, unlike Windows PCs. They argue that its built-in security features and the sturdy Unix architecture are all you need. However, it has become increasingly common for malware to be created for Macs. In fact, Mac users in recent years have been dealing with several new threats. One of the most frightening ones in recent memory was KeRanger. This was the first known ransomware specifically designed for Mac OS.
While Macs are considered to have better protection against computer viruses than PCs, they are just as vulnerable to malware and other harmful bugs on the web as Windows products are. Antivirus software can be useful in defending your Mac from malware. In fact, more advanced antivirus software for the Mac includes parental controls and options to lock down your webcam and stop websites from tracking your browsing activity.
Too much of a good thing
A word of caution from our tech experts: do not load your machine with more than one antivirus software program. You could ultimately slow it down, as each software program would try to overlap each other, and that would cause performance issues. That does not mean you shouldn’t include an advertising blocker. Extensions such as Adblock Plus are completely free add-on for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers.
Ad blockers can automatically stop malicious script, unwanted popups, and ads – even those running on dangerous webpages, and prevent the deployment of ransomware that locks up your computer screen. Most importantly, you need to continue to practice safe browsing and be guarded when opening email attachments. An email from containing an attachment from someone you rarely speak to should raise a red flag. The best rule of thumb is that if you don’t know what it is, just don’t click it. Finally, remember to keep your computer current. While you can never determine when a virus is going to attack your computer, having the right up-to-date antivirus software and updates for your operating system can be the difference between infection and protection.
Of course, if you need help with antivirus or any other internet security tasks, please reach out or schedule a free audit below.