K-12 Cyber Awareness Month 2020

Cyber Awareness Month Logo. Words Cyber Awareness Month with children holding computer devices.

A time to reflect on your online security, safety and privacy.

Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM) is an internationally recognized campaign traditionally held each October to inform people around the world of the importance of cyber security, this year being the 17th year. The K-12 Cyber Awareness Month (K-12 CAM) campaign is a modified version of the CSAM campaign tailored for the Ontario K-12 education environment.

K-12 CAM Overview – (Word / PDF)
Campaign Logo – (PNG)

The Campaign

The four-week K-12 CAM campaign is planned to run later, from October 26 to November 20, recognizing the new education realities and new ways of teaching, learning and connecting that students, parents and staff have had to embrace throughout September, October and beyond.

This year’s campaign theme is “Work, Teach, Learn Remote, Secure and Safe” with an objective of helping everyone in K-12 education – teachers, staff, students and parents – be safer and more secure online. The campaign will provide resources to help everyone understand pertinent cyber threats and know a few simple steps to protect themselves, their workplace, learning space, and their devices.

The campaign is divided into weekly themes which highlight different aspects of cyber security, online privacy and online (cyber) safety, as all three areas are of equal importance to K-12. For each weekly theme, resources from multiple reputable sources are provided.

Feel free to download any content for use in your own campaign or link directly to this page.

This website and its resources are also available in French.

October 26-30
Week 1: Work, Teach and Learn from Anywhere

Focus on cyber security and safeguarding your data, devices and systems.

  • This week we will look at the following:
    • Using secure passwords and applying good user account practices
    • Keeping your devices secure
    • Securing your home network and the risks of using Wi-Fi from other remote locations
    • Safely using videoconferencing tools for synchronous learning

You can start by taking stock of your own cyber security knowledge by taking the “Get Cyber Safe Assessment Checkup” (online quiz) from the Government of Canada’s Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM) 2020 campaign and reading through the suggested links based on the answers you provide.

Watch this Work, Teach and Learn from Anywhere video (transcript) to learn about sources of security risks and basic steps you can take to mitigate them when working, teaching or learning remotely.

This week choose one or more daily cyber security topic(s), read, learn and apply to improve your personal and home security posture.

November 2-6
Week 2: Why Me?

Focus on understanding cyber threats and why cybercriminals or malicious individuals may be targeting you.

  • This week we will look into the following:
    • Understanding cyber threats and how they work
    • Ransomware and malware as a form of cyber threat
    • Identity theft
    • The long game for cybercriminals

Begin this week by watching the Why Me? video (transcript) as this is a common question that as a Staff, Teacher or Student you may be asking yourself. Then go to the website “haveibeenpwned.com” to do a self check up on the information that is out in the public about your accounts and may be used by a cybercriminal.

This week choose one or more daily cyber security topic(s), read, learn and apply to be more aware of how and why you can be a target.

November 9-13
Week 3: Think before you click, post or share

Focus on being cautious online and protecting privacy and personal information.

  • This week we will look into the following:
    • Don’t be a victim of phishing, smishing or vishing
    • Misinformation
    • Think before you click, share or text

Start this week by familiarizing yourself with common ways that cybercriminals try to trick you into providing sensitive data about yourself or others. The what is Smishing and how to protect yourself video (transcript) will introduce you to a new technique you may not be aware of. Then check out the video on how you can browse the web safely (transcript) for important tips about how to keep you and the networks you use safe.

November 16-20
Week 4: Be Smart and Safe Online

Focus on understanding the risks to student well-being.

  • This week we will look into the following:
    • Online gaming
    • Social media
    • Cyberbullying
    • Sexual exploitation, sextortion and sexting

This week also corresponds to Ontario’s Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week which is an opportunity for the school community to raise awareness about bullying and cyberbullying and work together on prevention. We encourage you to learn more about this separate awareness campaign.

Helping students know the risks of the Internet and be safe online is a concern for many parents and teachers. With online interests of young people always changing it is difficult to be proactive in helping kids stay safe while online. The following guide on Tweens and Teens in the digital world can help provide some good insight into the risks and actions that can be taken to keep kids safe.

Here is a fun quiz for students to test their online (and offline) safety knowledge.

This week choose one or more daily online safety topic(s), read, learn and apply to be more aware of how you can be safer online.

Sources of Referenced Content: