Cybersecurity for Students

Monday, September 12, 2011 - 2:27pm

Chances are, your kids use a computer or smartphone for school. Chances are, someone is trying to hack into one of those computers.

All ready for the new year at school, but how many children have been given 'the talk' about cyber-security.

Etiquette expert Anna Post says it's a must.

"Parents engage your kids, ask about their friends on Facebook, ask who just sent that text."

Especially important are the risks with mobile devices like smartphones or laptops, now that so many students are taking them to school.

"Well you do have to have the ‘cyber-security’ talk with your children and it really is about setting boundaries." says Helen Malani, a Norton Cybercrime Education expert.

One boundary is about the 'apps' they download, which even experienced internet security experts have had to deal with.

Stewart McClure of McAfee Internet Security says his kids can download suspicious apps.

"My 11 year old, every once in a while I see him trying to sneak some new app on his phone and I have never heard of this thing, never seen this thing, I don't know where he got it from"

McClure is especially keen on apps because he says can be so easily infected with malware.

"…things that i teach my boys are things like 'if you're installing this app, who published the thing and what's the rating on it."

Ratings on apps can be found online at sites like the Android Market or the Apple App store.

But above all, parents are urged to start the conversation.

"It is part of, it is part of the family discourse now to talk about cyber-security" says Malani

And with more districts allowing mobile devices in classrooms as tools for learning, concern about cyber-security at school is expected to grow.

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