Stay Cyber Safe this School Year

Malicious cyber activity affects students in a variety of ways. Here are a few simple steps to take to keep you, your kids and your devices protected from the latest threats.

  • Practice safe computer usage. Use trusted apps and only browse to trusted websites. Malware may be hidden in apps to try and trick you into downloading them or may be utilized in fake websites to lure you in with interesting photos or stories.
  • Be smart when connecting to Wi-Fi. When utilizing free Wi-Fi connection in coffee shops, bookstores, hotels and schools, don’t access personal or financial information over networks that are unsecured. Data can easily be viewed by others when doing so.
  • Keep software up to date. Be sure to keep your operating system, browser software and apps fully updated. Systems and applications are continuously updated to fix bugs and address security issues. Utilize automatic updates to ensure you’re using the most secure version of the software that is available.
  • Watch Your Emails. Don’t open email attachments from untrusted sources. You may be expecting emails from group members or teachers, but use caution when opening any attachments. If the email doesn’t look right, don’t open it.
  • Think before sharing. Be careful about sharing personal information like school names, team names, home addresses and telephone numbers. Have your kids use safe search tools such as Google’s
  • Use strong passwords. To ensure a strong password, make sure you use a complex and unique password for each account you have. Passwords should contain at least 10 characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Backup your data. Saving your data is important given the growing risk of “ransomware” infections. Ransomware is a type of malware that locks up a perons’ file until the victim pays a ransom to the hacker. It’s prudent to back up often, using both a physical storage device like a flash drive or external hard drive and a cloud-based account.

These security tips are provided by Shazam, a trusted partner of Farmers Trust & Savings Bank.