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October Is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 10/06/2020

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and for many educators, the importance of safe and secure online usage is more relevant than ever. With an emphasis on virtual learning at the beginning of the school year as well as the continuation of hybrid classroom schedules, relying on technology for daily classroom activities has been inevitable. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has created many unforeseen obstacles for educators and their students, the looming possibility of cyberattacks/threats is preventable with cybersecurity knowledge. 

Teaching students the importance of online safety is crucial to the students’ development and well-being—and it’s important for adults, too! Today’s centralized focus on technology poses amazing advancements for the world of education but also may create potential dangers. Here are some tips and resources for both educators and students alike:

  • The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) website houses tip sheets and resources for reducing cybersecurity risks and protecting yourself.
  • Alongside the CISA, the National Cyber Security Alliance co-leads National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and has a wealth of information at staysafeonline.org/cybersecurity-awareness-month, including an overview of the month, resources, and events.
  • Read EdTech: Focus on K-12’s article “Cyberattacks Increasingly Threaten Schools—Here’s What to Know” and Edutopia’s “How to Teach Internet Safety to Younger Elementary Students” to get a more in-depth look at how cybersecurity affects our schools.
  • Use two-factor authentication to secure all of your accounts—both personal and professional—and remember not to reuse your passwords.
  • Connect your devices only to networks you know are safe, especially while in public places.
  • Be aware of possible phishing scams and what they can look like in both online baiting and email scams. Click here to read our article “How to Watch Out for Scams.”
  • Know what resources you can count on for valuable, trustworthy information.
  • Know your local district policy regarding the work-related use of district-provided and personal devices. 

As the world of technology changes, it is important to stay vigilant for misinformation, cyberattacks, or phishing scams on the web. Take time this National Cybersecurity Awareness Month to better understand how to protect yourself and others online!