Parenting

7 Internet safety tips for students (and parents too)

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During the first wave of pandemic, when children were enjoying their time off from school, the schools took the liberty to innovate on their ideas of classroom teaching. With the help of technology and upskilling the teachers, the schools finally managed to introduce online learning as a new normal to the world.

Though teachers got the training for running a virtual classroom, it becomes all the more important for children to understand the basics of the internet and security to have a smooth learning experience in this online world.

At Havi, we understand the importance of securing your virtual classrooms. We have put together 7 security-related tips for a safe virtual classroom experience. Let’s understand these tips in better detail for why we need to know them in the first place.

1. Don’t download random apps.
The most widely used software for online classrooms or meetings is Zoom and Google Meet. There are a few others available for the same. You might use the browser version of all these software (mostly available) or you can also download the software client on your desktop for a better experience.

However, be mindful that the application that you’re downloading is a trusted application. It should be either recommended by your teacher, or you know the source very well. Otherwise, refrain from downloading random applications, you may end up getting your system hacked or installing malware on your system.

2. Don’t share personal data on various apps, websites or chat windows.
During the course of your virtual classroom, there would be various instances when you will come across one or more questions asking for your personal data from you. Personal data consists of your first name, last name, date of birth, student id, bank account number, mobile number, or anything and everything related to you.

It is important for you to understand where and why are you sharing your or anyone else’s personal data. The safest choice is to not share any data at all, no matter, it’s a website, application or chat window.

Whenever in doubt, ask your parents for a piece of advice. Look for a trusted source. Let someone elder and knowledgeable take a call on this.

3. Let parents handle the payment options.
With the least physical interactions post-pandemic, the payments are also happening online. Fees for school, or any extra class needs you to make payments for access.

There are high chances that any kind of payment on the internet may lead you straightforwardly into traps. That’s the easiest of all traps available on the internet. You wouldn’t want to lose out on your parents’ hard-earned money to ‘scamsters’.

So, don’t jump to payments without parental guidance. Ask them to take a lead on their own for any kind of payments you need to make on the internet.

4. Don’t share others’ contact details as referrals without their permission.
As much important it is for you to protect your personal data, it is equally important for you to understand that others’ data should also be kept private. Even if they have no issues with you sharing their data. It is highly advisable for you to ask them before sharing anything about them.

You would get a lot of chances when you would be asked for referrals from other people. This means that you would be asked to share contacts of your friends, family or acquaintance. Always seek their permission before sharing their contact information.

5. Check the authenticity of links before clicking.
You may come across several types of links. Somebody could be sharing an e-book with you or you might get a link to make payment. At times, they ask you to click on a link to win a jackpot. All these are some examples of different ways for you to receive links on different mediums such as websites, emails, chat windows, WhatsApp messages etc.

These links could be spam. You may end up in a trouble for yourself. So, don’t click on any link unless you know the source of that link.

If your teacher is sharing a link for you to download your books, that’s an authentic source and you can go ahead straight to the link. If your parents are sharing a video lecture link for you to understand the concept better, again you can go for it.

Just understand who you’re receiving these links from.

6. Use strong passwords and don’t share those passwords with anyone.
We get to create profiles on different platforms to access those services from the platforms. Whenever you’re creating any profile, make sure you set up a strong password.

A strong password consists of more than 8 characters in length, an alphanumeric password with digits and alphabets used with special characters.

Also, keep your passwords safe with you. Don’t share your passwords with anyone on the internet or offline.

7. Learn to identify spam emails.
Last week, I received an email when I felt the luckiest in the world. In fact, the email also said so. I won a lottery of 1 Million Dollars. Can you imagine? That was like a dream come true. But wait.

I didn’t sign up for any lottery anytime in the past. Even if I did, it was never for such a huge amount. How can I be lucky enough? Something seemed fishy.

Did this ever happen to you? If not yet, wait for it. These emails will become very commonly found in your inbox. These are commonly known as spam emails. And you need to understand more about the identification of such spam emails. Sharing a few pointers on the identification of Spam Emails as follows.

Identification of Spam Emails:

1. Check out the sender information. First of all, check out the sender email. Only open if the sender seems authentic, then open it, otherwise ignore. You might find out some gibberish names in the sender’s email for easy identification.

2. Identify who this email is referred to. Spam emails are quite generic in nature since the spamsters are trying to reach out to the masses for their fraudulent activity. They don’t know your name or other specific information. They are just shooting in the dark. So, if any email starts off with, “Dear Learner”, “To the luckiest person in the world”, or something similar and generic, it’s a red flag.

3. Look for grammatical errors. This tip is our personal favourite. As they say in those Bollywood movies, each thief makes a mistake. Here, in the emails, we are looking for grammatical errors. You found one, and you know that this could be a potential red flag.

4. Check for the authenticity of the company/individual. If you’re receiving any email from “something@havi.co”, you can search about “www.havi.co” on the internet. So, use other sources such as Google to check the authenticity of the company or individual sending you the email.

5. Don’t click on the links directly. As discussed previously, if the email contains links, then don’t directly click on the links. The URL of the links can be speculated for authenticity. Read what the URL of the link says. If it’s gibberish, you would get to know. Otherwise, look for the source of the link.

6. Spam emails try to phish for your personal information. If your personal information is asked anywhere in the email, don’t directly jump to sharing. Think thrice before sharing any data. Look for guidance from erudite personnel.

7. There could be an offer to lure you. If you haven’t applied for any scheme, then you’re not winning a bonus. Try not to get lured. It’s as simple as that.

Your safety and security are of prime concern for your parents and teachers, no matter if it’s an online world or an offline world. For the offline world, you have them with you as your support, and for the online world, you can rely on Havi. We care for your knowledge and learning.

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