Cyber Security eLearning Course Helps Teachers Combat Online Threats
If you are a teacher using technology in your classroom, as most teachers are in the 21st century, it’s imperative that you learn about cyber threats and how to stay safe online. Luckily, The Tech Partnership and NAACE have introduced an online cyber security course called Cyber Security for Teachers. Designed by Sponge UK, Cyber Security for Teachers is an interactive online program formatted like a game. The course is free, has three levels, and takes anywhere from 3-15 hours to complete. Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be done in one sitting. You can save your progress and pick up where you left off at any time. There are ten modules you must complete in order to get certified. Here are a few basic topics covered in Level One.
Protecting Your Cyber Footprint: Your cyber footprint is your internet presence and information. Passwords, profiles, and email addresses are all a part of your cyber footprint, and can be stolen or sold by third parties. The program suggests using a different password for every account, and changing it often. If you have the same password for everything, all of your information (including credit card numbers and physical addresses) is compromised if one of your accounts gets hacked or if your account information gets leaked. The Cyber Security for Teachers program will also outline the specific threat you may fall into, depending on the scenario. For example, compromised information can lead to identity theft and fraudulent credit card activity, among other things.
Threatening or Non-Threatening? This section presents different scenarios that the user will have to resolve. For example, in level one, hypothetical situations are presented and the user has to judge whether or not they are potential cyber threats. If someone finds an unfamiliar USB and plugs it into a computer, that is a potential cyber threat. But if someone is just browsing a secure website such as Facebook, that is not a potential cyber threat.
Proactive vs. Reactive: Proactive cyber security is being aware of potential threats, being on the lookout for them, and knowing what to do if you should encounter one of these problems. In a proactive cyber security scenario, one might present a drill of sorts, where a fake virus is sent out and you see how many people are likely to become victim to a cyber attack. Reactive cyber security is what to do after there has already been a threat, such as cleaning up after the problem. In a reactive scenario, a threat has already presented itself, and the main task is to fix the problem. Proactive security is more effective, but unfortunately a reactive approach happens more often. Thanks to programs like this cyber security course, proactive security can become the norm if you are open to learning how to navigate technology, and if you spread the word.
When you complete the cyber security course, you are certified and awarded the title of Cyber Aware Institution. Many teachers are not used to technology, or have trouble navigating it. If you are all thumbs with computers and smartphones, it makes you an easier target for these kinds of attacks. Once you have been certified as Cyber Aware, be sure to let your colleagues know about it. Cyber threats are very real and it is better to be safe than sorry. The more you know, the more you can prevent, identify, and avoid. Becoming Cyber Aware will make you a pro at navigating technology, and will ensure the safety of your information and your students’ information.
Sarah Samel is an Emerson College senior Writing, Literature and Publishing student focusing on young adult fiction. When she’s not browsing bookstores, she’s blogging or jotting down ideas for new poems and stories.