Privacy Tips for Families for K-12 Virtual Schooling

Check out distance learning tips on Common Sense Media!

Work with your children on how to deal with cyberbullying, standing up for yourself and others, and safety aspects of videoconferencing.

Check out my recent media appearance on Fox 4 News!

Basic Security

  • Space and tools: Parents can also help set up a virtual background image so that the background is not visible and provide headset earphones or earbuds so background audio is not shared.
  • Students should not share their password or any zoom links. How to create and save passwords. Don’t use the same password over and over. Ask who has access to your students’ passwords.
  • Students should fully log out of programs when done and close their web browser. Turn the computer off at night.

Policies and processes

  • If mobile devices are used such as an iPad, ask about what apps are allowed and what aren’t.
  • Students on social media should not share images and students can ask the teacher what the class policies are for sharing of the livestream. Will it be recorded? Can people take and post pictures?
  • Parents can “rehearse and role play” the online zoom session and how it might go and how students might ask questions. If a parent is at home, monitor and pop in on how it’s going. Ask the teacher for a copy of the “netiquette” (net etiquette) guidelines.

Parents can ask:

  • Some questions students and/or parents might ask can include “Will I need to have my camera on in the session? If I don’t, can I use an appropriate image instead?”, “What rules will there be for recording the session or taking pictures of the session?”, “Is there a dress code for the live session?”
  • Parents can ask the school the same questions and ask for information on what ways any recorded data from live sessions will be used or where it will be stored.
  • Parents and older students can read the terms of service to understand how their data is used.


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