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Protecting your devices from cyber attacks amid virtual learning, WFH protocols

Emily Burkhard
Updated: September 12, 2020 12:19 AM
Created: September 11, 2020 11:15 PM

With more people learning and working from home than ever before, we're also seeing a significant increase in cyber attacks.

Many adults have a hard time spotting threats, and that begs the question, how will children react if their devices are targeted?

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In the last few weeks, a virtual meeting held by a local district was hacked. The hacker showed inappropriate sexual images to everyone watching. On Thursday, the son of a NewsChannel 13 reporter had his school account hacked.

NewsChannel 13 spoke to a cybersecurity professor at UAlbany to learn some prevention tips.

Professor David Turetsky has decades of experience in the cybersecurity field. He said having a secure connection is key.

"Make sure that your Wi-Fi network has password that it's locked basically that it can't be accessible to somebody on the street, or driving by or whatever it may be,” he said.

Turetsky recommends learning a bit about the programs your children will need to use for school, as that could make it easier to spot phishing attempts.

He said you should also teach your kids what information is and isn't safe to share, even if they think they're talking with friends. For example, it's never okay to share your password.

"If that friend was asking you questions like what's your address or which school are you at,” Turetsky said. “They should be thinking about the kind of information their own friends would know and not ask."

If your device is hacked, Turetsky said it's best to close the window or program immediately. Then you should change your password, though he siad that's not a guaranteed fix.

"That is something that's got some risk too because if they're in your computer they may already have your password, they may not,” Turetsky said. “Then you put in a new password if they are there, they may be able to track that."

You can download software to scan your devices for malware, phishing emails or ransomware.

But, Turetsky said even people who are trained to spot threats can miss them, so it's important to supervise your child as much as possible while they're online.

"Adults make those mistakes so you know the only thing you can do is just keep kids altogether from clicking on websites, because you know they're just not going to be able to be perfect at it,” he said.

If you're concerned about someone hacking into the camera in your child's device, you can cover the lens with a piece of tape when it's not being used.


Copyright 2020 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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