What happens if classrooms get sent home again?

Emma McGowan 30 Aug 2021

How to be prepared for a surprise school shutdown

School is back in session. But for how long? The Delta variant has caused a significant rise in cases and has reversed the steady decline of Covid-19 infections since January. The variant is more contagious, causes more severe illnesses, and in some cases, has even infected people who have already been vaccinated. 

It’s entirely possible that not long after the few weeks of school, we may need to go back to attending school from home. Are you prepared? Are your devices and home network still secure? 

Here’s a short list of simple tips to help you get prepared for another school shutdown:

  1. Revisit your router.

When’s the last time you checked your connection? Restart your network router and update your account credentials. Your router is your home network’s main connection to the internet–and to cyber threats. Updates help keep your network safe. Consider a physical firewall device to protect against infiltration. 

  1. Vaccinate your device.

It’s not a perfect analogy. Of course a vaccination doesn’t really work the same as anti-virus software protection, but did you know while parents believe that distance learning is a major concern for data privacy and digital security, they haven’t done anything about it? No virus is a good virus. Knock 'em out.

  1. Get creative with your passphrases.

Reset ALL of your device and account passwords with long passphrases that are easy for your family to remember, but hard to be hacked. If you have too many to remember, use a secure credential service to help you out.

  1. Have THE talk.

Birds and bees aside, sit your kids down to remind and reinforce good habits about safe surfing and the dangers of online predators. Be honest about why you may have set up parental controls, limited screen time, and anti-tracking protocols on your network. It’s for their safety and your entire family’s privacy and security.

  1. Practice what you preach.

Kids have an amazing sense for hypocrisy. Setting up appropriate digital boundaries doesn’t just apply to privacy and security, it also applies to the habits we form as families. If you don’t structure time away from screens, chances are, it won’t happen. Use the potential of school cancelation as an amazing opportunity to plan to spend more quality time outdoors and face-to-face with your kids instead of driving them back and forth to school.

Every cloud has a silver lining. If you are open to seeking the positive opportunities that come with surprises–which is easier when you plan ahead–you’ll spend less time stressing and more time enjoying life. Time with your family is precious. Seize every moment you have together. These are trying times. Stay safe and healthy.

Further reading:

Disruption, data theft and shutdowns in the education sector

Is your family ready for distance learning?

Back-to-school security tips for IT admins

6 steps for staying safe online when going back to school

Back-to-school cybersecurity 101

Be ultimately prepared

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Advanced antivirus and anti-tracking privacy protection features prevent malware while blocking stalkers and advertisers from following your family’s online activity. 

Check out our Back-to-School Sale to save on a year’s subscription of Avast Ultimate.

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