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Cybersecurity expert shares resources to stay safe online during virtual learning

Cybersecurity expert looks at the connection between cybercrimes and virtual learning.

WASHINGTON — It's the first day of school for tens of thousands of students across the DMV, but with the pandemic pushing many schools to move classes online, it will be a back to school like no other.

Michael Maschke, the Chief Executive Officer of Sensei Enterprises, said it is important to protect your kids now. 

"I’ve got two kids that have been given Chromebooks from Loudoun County so there are certain things that I’m going to be watching out for as my kids use the equipment," said Maschke. "And, there certainly are recommendations I have for other parents from a cybersecurity perspective."

Maschke said many elementary school kids now have their own email address for school. As a result, it is important to monitor what your kids click on because phishing continues to be a problem.

This year teachers are also relying more on free, external resources that can be found online. Maschke said if they are outside the school website, it's important to check and make sure they are safe.

"You have to be careful about what you click on and what your kids click on or have access to. Make sure you are looking at what websites they are visiting and where they are going," said Maschke.

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"Make sure the sites are valid, safe sites and not ones that download malware or attempt to exploit your system with a phishing attempt. As a parent, you have to be careful and watch what your kids are doing on the systems," said Maschke.

If you are looking for free WiFi, Maschke said an open wireless network is not worth it. Instead, he said if you have a wireless network at home that does not require a password, it is a good idea to set one up.

The Department of Education also published advice for students, parents and school leaders about how to avoid any cyber risks during this season of remote learning. 

You can find the full list here.

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