Building a Digital Defense for Students Heading Back to School Online

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense with education technology as Oregon students start heading back to school in an online environment.

Today we are talking about how cyber actors are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to exploit increased use of virtual environments.  

School districts across the United States are working to address a dynamically changing learning environment. The FBI acknowledges everyone is adjusting to these demands, but the FBI encourages parents and families to: 

Do: 

  • Closely monitor children's use of edtech and online services. 

  • Research edtech service user agreements about data breach notifications, marketing, and/or selling of user data, data retention practices, and whether users and/or parents can elect to have student data deleted by request. 

  • Conduct regular internet searches of children's information to monitor the exposure and spread of their information on the internet. 

  • Consider credit or identity theft monitoring to check for any fraudulent use of their child's identity. 

  • Research parent coalition and information-sharing organizations available online for those looking for support and additional resources. 

  • Research school-related, edtech, and other related vendor cyber breaches, which can further inform families of student data and security vulnerabilities. 

Don't: 

  • Provide exact information on children when creating user profiles (e.g., use initials instead of full names, avoid using exact dates of birth, avoid including photos, etc.) 

If you have evidence your child's data may have been compromised, if you are the victim of an internet scam or cyber crime, or if you want to report suspicious activity, please visit the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

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