Thanks to advancements in technology, students and educators
are increasingly turning to birth, tablets and computers
when working on daily assignments and classroom activities.
Students rely on the internet for research and keeping in touch
with teachers and other students, and work is even assigned and
completed via digital platforms.
Despite the upside of technology, cyber crime is a potential
pitfall of all that time spent online. The internet provides instant
access, and that can put students at risk.
The education sector ranked sixth in the United States for
the total number of reported “security incidents.” Schools are
data-rich, meaning they give hackers access to information like
data, medical records, and more.
Students must understand cyber security risks when working
and sharing data online. The following are some tips students
· Protect passwords. Students are urged to keep their passwords
to themselves. This prevents others from using accounts
maliciously or even in seemingly harmless ways that can put you
in trouble, such as searching for inappropriate content in school.
· Use secured WiFi networks. Free or open WiFi connections
are not encrypted, meaning they can be accessed by anyone.
Many cyber criminals gain access to information through these
channels. Schools should have encrypted systems in place.
· Limit what you share on the internet. Students are urged
to be aware of what they share online. Information posted to
social media is permanent, and deleted items aren’t necessarily
gone. Exercise caution on social media. Don’t post unless it is something
you would be comfortable sharing in public.
· Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing usually occurs
through fraudulent email messages that mimic the look of reputable
solicitations. Scammers rely on these tactics to tempt people
to click on links or download attachments that can put malware
on a device and steal personal data. Exercise caution with all links
· Schedule routine backups. Data can be lost if a device crashes,
so routinely back up personal devices and home computers.
Backups can be stored on external hard drives or with cloud services.
may not be what they say they are. Only used school-approved
We interviewed John Novikoff, owner of Computer Lab of
Zephyrhills to get some advice. He has repeatedly warned me to
get my own laptop serviced. So take heed of his advice and save
yourself some headaches.
“The main thing is to get your computer serviced at least
once or twice a year. That way a virus can be found before da-
doesn’t mean you don’t have a virus.”
There are a few virus protection programs that John uses for
his clients: Viper, which has a lifetime guarantee, Webroot and
Nod32. There are others available and you should always have
something on your computer.
Password protection is extremely important. “Make sure
your passwords have at least 8-12 characters, a capitalized letter,
number and symbol to keep hackers at bay.”
“There are programs that help you keep track of your pass-
words, too, such as Lastpass, mostly free and Roboform is
another one. Lastpass helps parents access websites and track
where their children have gone and keeps a report of websites
visited. Remember, parents have every right to examine a childs’
Protect yourself by keeping your computer as secure as possible,
so hire a professional if you can’t do it yourself. Security
threats are on the increase, and are becoming more sophisticated.
Hackers are getting away from using spyware and have begun
using social engineering, which is scamming, scaring a person
with pop ups, threatening to lock your computer and requesting
a call to unlock, saying they need to remotely access your com-
ver give someone remote access to your computer. Never send
money. It all goes back to keeping your computer serviced by a
professional. A good service provider will be able to locate virus
and the worst case scenario is to wipe the hard drive clean and
start fresh, which means Back Up Your Files!
Cyber security is not just for students. It is a year round priority
for all of us. The right security measures can protect students,
their classmates, their schools and parents!
9 AM - 1 PM 3 PM - 6 PM
MONDAY - FRIDAY
8 AM - NOON
• No Appointment Necessary
• Walk-In Computer Service
• For Windows Based Computers
The Computer Lab of Zephyrhills
22 • JULY 2019 813.682.9364 FLORIDA WOMEN MAGAZINE