If a student from your school had someone knock on their front door, ask for personal information and offer to give them a treat in exchange for that information, what would happen? It depends on the child, but what you know for certain is that your district or school has been teaching stranger danger since that child was in kindergarten, so the odds are good that the interaction would raise a red flag for the student.

Why is it, then, that students are posting videos and photos on TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat without any concern that their school name or home address is displayed prominently in the background?

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The reason is simple: we – parents and educators alike – aren’t adequately teaching our kids cyber life skills designed to protect them online.

Life skills are relative – and ever-evolving

Simply put, life skills have always been relative to the time of society. When sabre toothed tigers roamed the earth in 10,000 BC, humans were taught to watch them because their lives, literally, depended on it. When automobiles became more commonplace in the early 1900’s, we had to teach children to look both ways before crossing the street.

About the Author:

Ryan Cloutier, CISSP, is the principal security consultant at SecurityStudio, which works to fix information security industry problems through simplification. A passionate cybersecurity thought leader Ryan is an advisor on the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) Cyber Security Advisory Panel and can be reached at rcloutier@securitystudio.com.


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