NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With many students starting the school year online, concerns are growing over possible cyberattacks.
As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reports, classes and meetings have already been hacked by online intruders, and that’s not the only thing you’ll have to watch out for.
Back to school in the age of COVID-19 means your kids may be able to forget the locker combination and focus on the computer password. But with all the new programs and software, be warned.
“Privacy is one of the key elements here that is severely at risk,” cybersecurity expert Jeff Schwartz told Layton.
Schwartz, a cybersecurity expert with Checkpoint Software, said learning through a laptop lens raises several concerns. Remote learning, or even the hybrid model that combines classroom time with homeschooling, could be a hacker’s dream.
“Ransomeware, phishing attacks, credential stealing, compromise of assets,” he said.
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During a Zoom press conference Wednesday in response to a deal between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the United Federation of Teachers, someone hijacked the meeting. It abruptly ended as the person did inappropriate things on screen.
Meanwhile in Florida, students and teachers in Miami Dade schools couldn’t get online after its remote learning community was hit by cyberattacks for the third straight day.
“Yesterday’s attacks, we know some of them came from outside of the country,” said Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Experts say it’s important to turn off computer cameras and microphones when your child isn’t in class.
Make sure there’s no personal information in your child’s virtual background, like bills or bank statements on the counter, and don’t use the same device for schooling that you would for banking.
Also beware of so-called “click bait” ads. Parents are doing a lot of last minute back to school shopping online for clothes, supplies – even masks – and there are a lot of fake websites out there.
Schwartz said of the 35,000 new domains registered with a back to school theme in the past three months, more than 500 were malicious, meaning they’re out to steal your information. Another 3,400 were suspicious.
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