Over the past few weeks we have gone over useful tips for those working from home, including ways for businesses to ensure that they are not putting themselves at unnecessary risk with a suddenly remote workforce. But we are not the only ones who have had to shift to a work from home model – across the country students are also now studying from home and teachers are teaching in new, remote settings – and all of the tips and resources we have offered are also useful for remote learning.
Education Week estimates that K-12 school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted at least 124,000 public and private schools in the U.S. and have affected at least 55.1 million students; 21 states have already recommended or ordered that schools be closed for the remainder of this academic year.
The same is true for college students, and classes for many have shifted to online platforms such as the video-conferencing service Zoom. These have not been without issues – there have been problems with uninvited hackers dropping into classes – highlighting the need to ensure that everyone is taking necessary precautions with their devices at home.
We have written about the importance of updating your systems and applications to stay up to date with the latest security updates, keeping your accounts safe by moving beyond simple passwords, and taking measures to ensure your social media accounts follow security protocols, as they can also be targeted by cybercriminals.
It is also important to acknowledge that not all students who are suddenly forced to adjust to online learning models have access to high-speed Internet and devices. Many students are forced to share devices within a household and sometimes use mobile devices – if this is the case, then ensuring that the same precautions are taken is important. While it is best to avoid students in your household using your work devices, making sure that cybersecurity protocols are always followed is vital in order to help mitigate cyber risk.
GCA’s Work From Home Campaign is a resource for more information on remote working and learning, including step-by-step instructions you can send to your employees and share with students in your household. We have been joined by 22 nonprofits in an effort to increase awareness about cybersecurity during this difficult time and to provide information to businesses and individuals.
You can also visit the GCA Work From Home Community Forum for additional resources and to ask questions – our security experts are here to help you!