Family Essentials®

Secure Your Virtual Network for At-Home Learning

August 26, 2020

Posted in: Parenting

With the recent acceleration of virtual learning due to the COVID-19 outbreak, going online has become an integral part of a child’s education. Without a safe and reliable network, learning online can both frustrating and frightening. Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do to ensure your child has a fun and rewarding online experience.

Stay Up to Date

Jack Senatore, our Kiddie Academy Technology Department’s Cloud Services Manager, says there are easy safeguards everyone should routinely take, starting with, “Keep your software up to date and use an antivirus program. Some platforms, such as Windows 10, have antivirus built in. It’s turned on by default and is free. Mac OS and Chromebooks have similar protections. For some extra protection, you can get a program like Malwarebytes, which runs on all platforms, for a small monthly fee.”

Stay Smart

Senatore also recommends using strong passwords. He says password-manager programs will create secure, unique passwords for all your programs and store them on your devices so that you don’t have to remember all of them.

He says you should also talk to your children about other precautions to keep out unwanted “guests” and programs. “Advise your children to steer clear of unexpected or suspicious emails, messages and links. Avoiding those will help keep personal information safe and malware off your computer.”

More Tips

Here are some other recommendations for keeping your home network secure so your child gets the most out of virtual learning:

  • Make sure your router is secure – If you use a wireless router, make sure it’s password protected so that it’s only accessible by those you want to use it.
  • Change the name of your network – Rename your network but avoid naming it in a way that identifies your family.
  • Talk to your school’s remote-learning coordinator – Know what your child will be expected to do as part of their digital learning requirements. That way, if they’re asked to something unusual, you will know who to check with to make sure it’s a legitimate request.
  • The following sites have more good information about ensuring a safe and productive remote-learning experience:

    Safe Remote Learning in Education: How to Ensure Safe Use of Technology” – National Online Safety

    Securing Your Wireless Network” – Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information

    Position Statement: Technology and Interactive Media” – National Association for the Education of Young Children

    Is technology good or bad for learning?” – Brookings Institution

     
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