Back To School Cyber Safety

Local News

ZANESVILLE, Ohio – School has started this week for students in Muskingum County, and plenty of parents and families are excited to show off their children and their triumphant return back to learning. 

“You want to celebrate your kiddo and their new school year, celebrate all the exciting moments but you want to make sure you’re not doing something in that excitement that could possibly put them in harms way,” Rick Birt, the President of Students Against Destructive Decisions, or SADD told us.

“We’re encouraging parents to really be mindful and make sure they are not posting too much information. Information that includes specifics about your address, too much information about where your kiddo goes to school. Other information about their schedule or their practice schedule, things like that. You want to make sure that you’re abiding by what we call general social media hygiene,” Birt also told us!

Kevin Blodgett says that he feels it’s important to monitor what his children do online. The father of two also has a background in Cybersecurity and a degree from Zane State.  

“So a lot of it is sitting down and discussing with your children the importance of what you’re doing on social media first. The type of pictures you take, the conversations you have…You can start to ease up on it a bit. Me personally, I feel that until their an adult that stuff like Facebook isn’t really the best type of social media out there.”

Zane State Professor of Cyber Security, Will Bailey says that as parents and families navigate through social media they should be aware and take the following safety precautions:

  • Use a strong password, and do not use it for all your accounts
  • Log off when you are finished using a computer, especially one in public
  • Protect your computer by installing anti-virus software
  • Do not open email attachments that you are not expecting
  • DO NOT OVERSHARE, the more you put online, the more susceptible you are for identity theft or unwarranted communication

For more information about Students Against Destructive Decisions and how to practice social media safety; visit their website at https://www.sadd.org/.

KaJeza Hawkins
KaJéza Hawkins is new to Zanesville, but an Ohio native, born and raised in the Gem City, Dayton, Ohio. KaJéza is very excited to be apart of the WHIZ-TV News Team. She has interned at several stations, including WHIO in Dayton, as well as WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a proud HBCU graduate, receiving her degree from Wilberforce University in 2021, where she majored in Mass Media Communication with a concentration in English. KaJéza is also a a part of the NABJ, and is happy to be spending time here in Zanesville. If you see her out, be sure to say hello!