histguardianPart of a blog series from the CoSN’s Cybersecurity Committee in preparation for and tied to Cybersecurity Month. 

In today’s technologically advanced world, the internet is an integral part of our daily lives. We use it for communication, online shopping, banking, social networking, and much more. However, with the increasing reliance on the digital realm comes the heightened risk of cyber threats. Raising cybersecurity awareness is crucial to safeguarding our sensitive information and maintaining a secure online environment inside and outside the school district.

By educating staff and students about potential cyber threats and best practices, we empower them to take proactive steps to protect themselves and their data.

In HISD, we launched a year-long awareness campaign to help our staff stay vigilant anytime they are online.

Calendar of Topics for Posters, Messaging, and Discussions
• October: Cyber Security Awareness Month
• November: Staying Safe While Shopping Online
• December: Staying Safe While Shopping Online
• January: Mobile Security (setting up those new devices that Santa brought); Data Security
• February: National Clean Out Your Computer Day
• March: Malware Awareness
• April: Staying Safe from Identity Theft; Scams (IRS, etc.)
• May: Protecting your Privacy; Phishing Scams; File Cleaning
• June: Internet Safety Month; Traveling and Security
• July: Traveling and Security
• August: Password Security; Cybersecurity for Onboarding
• September: Software Updates

By breaking the content areas throughout the year, we can give our staff relevant information when they are thinking about things in their lives (like traveling in the summer or shopping online during the holidays).

Cybersecurity Poster Contestsafepasswords
Get your students involved! K-12 students in HISD are invited to participate in a poster contest, where they can design their own graphics and posters depicting messages regarding cybersecurity. This is a great opportunity for teachers to discuss the importance of staying safe online, preventing cyberbullying, and protecting their digital footprint.

Become a Cybersecurity Guardian – Training Class
School districts across the country have become targets for cyber-attacks. Our staff must understand the importance of cybersecurity and the role each employee plays in protecting the district’s data by reviewing key building blocks of cyber safety.
The devices we use and the data we have access to expose us to numerous threats in our professional and personal lives. Understanding those threats and learning how to protect ourselves can reduce the likelihood of incidents.
This course is designed as a safe space for the technically savvy to sharpen their skills, for the technically shy to learn and ask questions, and for everyone to understand what their role in protecting their data is.

Our Call to Action
In this digital age, cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. We encourage you to take the initiative to protect yourself and your school district. Spread awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, adopt best practices, and remain vigilant in the face of evolving cyber threats. Let’s work together to create a safer and more secure digital world for all. Remember, a collective effort is the key, so empower your staff, students, and teachers today.
Reach out to Preeti Burns (pburns3@houstonisd.org) for an agenda of our training class or more information.

Author: Preeti Burns, IT Director – Technology Customer Services Houston Independent School District (TX)

Published on: October 19, 2023

CoSN is vendor neutral and does not endorse products or services. Any mention of a specific solution is for contextual purposes.