K-12 Cyber Awareness Month 2021

Cyber Awareness Month 2021 Logo

ECNO is proud to support and promote K-12 Cyber Awareness Month (K-12 CAM)

For the 2nd year ECNO, in partnership with Ontario School Boards and the Ministry prepare multiple resources for school boards to share with teachers, students and staff to promote awareness in Cyber Security, Online Safety and Online Privacy. Each of the 4 weeks has a different theme and will be promoted through our social media (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) feeds.

For K-12 School Boards that wish to host their own K-12 Cyber Awareness Month Campaign please view the Overview and Companion Guide for School Boards on the K-12 Cyber Awareness Month 2021 campaign.

La campagne est également disponible en Français

NEW!A Calendar to be Cyber Aware throughout the year!

K-12 Cyber Awareness Month 2021 – Introduction

The past 18+ months have shifted the way we rely on and interact with technology. In all areas of our lives, we have seen an unprecedented increase in the use of technology and the internet for staying connected, for recreation, for online learning, and more. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we learn to protect ourselves online.

October is internationally recognized as cyber security awareness month to help the public learn more about the importance of cyber security. This is the second year we have created a Cyber Awareness Month (CAM) campaign tailored for K-12 needs, with a focus on cyber security, online safety, and online privacy.

The campaign focuses on four weekly themes, based on the foundation that technology and the internet are part of our lives, and information and tips will be shared to help protect privacy and stay safer and more secure online.

Campaign Theme and Logo

Just as we lock our doors and secure our homes, visit the doctor to support our physical and emotional health and find peace in meditation to quiet our busy minds, caring for our online presence and digital footprint is just as important.

“Cyber awareness as self-care!”

Adopting safe, secure and healthy habits online is caring for your online presence and digital footprint, while helping to ensure you and your family are protected online.

Watch the video above or click here to go directly to the video player.

Video Transcript:

Week 1 – October 4 – 8

Theme: Show your devices and accounts some love

Fortifying and locking down our devices and online accounts should always be a priority.

Our devices and accounts are what we use to stay connected, to create and publish content, access online services, and play games. They are the doors to our online presence. We use our devices to authenticate who we are, communicate through email, texting, social media, and other tools, and we also use our devices to store personal information locally or in the cloud. Many of us have multiple devices and accounts. Some are personal and some are for work, and some personal devices may be shared with other family members. Keeping track of it all can sometimes be challenging but it is important to do so.

This week take stock of your user accounts and devices and learn how to better protect them.  

Topics and tips for week 1 include:

Access the embedded links to find out more (links will take you to different websites):

Week 2 – October 11 – 15

Theme: Pay attention to your home network and Wi-Fi connections

Safe and secure Wi-Fi connections are just as important as having secure devices and online accounts.

Nowadays most devices are connected to the internet through our home network, our school or office network, a data plan, or a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Many of the applications installed on our devices require an internet connection to access online services and function properly. Our devices will often look to connect to available Wi-Fi hotspots irrespective of whether that Wi-Fi connection is safe or not. It is up to the device user to ensure appropriate security and safety measures are taken when connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots or deciding not to connect.

Topics and tips for week 2 include:

Access the embedded links to find out more (links will take you to different websites):

  • Secure your home network and actively managing it. Considering upgrading your network router every 3-5 years to take advantage of improvements in security features.
  • Take stock of devices connected to your home network and monitoring for unusual activity.
  • Setup a guest network for your friends and visiting family members to separate their access and activity from all your home devices.
  • Setup a separate network for your smart devices, so if compromises occur, the threat remains isolated from your personal devices that contain personal and sensitive information.
  • Kid-proof your home Wi-Fi network to make it safe for children.
  • Avoid untrusted public Wi-Fi access; use a personal data plan or personal hotspot or use VPN when having to connect through an untrusted Wi-Fi hotspot.

Week 3 – October 18 – 22

Theme: Care for your personal information – it is valuable!

It is more important than ever to protect our personal information.

With personal devices, smart devices and the internet becoming a routine part of our lives, as we use them to work, learn, exercise, entertain ourselves and socialize, it is more important than ever to protect our personal information and teach our kids to develop habits that will make it part of their day-to-day routine. Like how children learn to be safe outdoors, children need to learn to be safe online.

Topics and tips for week 3 include:

Access the embedded links to find out more (links will take you to different websites):

Week 4 – October 25 – 29

Theme: Be mindful of your online presence and digital footprint

It’s important to manage your online presence and digital footprint!

This past year, kids have faced unique challenges, as many of their in-person activities have been replaced with an increased use of technology. This has resulted in an unprecedented increased online presence and digital footprint for most of us, adults, and kids alike.

Everyone should assume that what is shared online will remain online forever. Every action you take online, and information posted about you contributes to your “digital footprint” which can straddle our personal, student and professional lives. Improving our awareness of the traces of data we leave online and recognising how our individual digital footprints vary can help to improve the protection of our data online.

Topics and tips for week 4 include:

Access the embedded links to find out more (links will take you to different websites):

Other Awareness Campaigns

In addition to the themes and topics of the above K-12 CAM campaign, school boards also have the option of using campaigns and/or select resources from other reputable sources. Some of the themes and topics may be deemed to be more conducive to staff and may not include resources that cover all three pillars of cyber security, cyber safety, and online privacy.

The following are two awareness campaigns boards should be aware of.

Ontario’s Cyber Security Division

Cyber Security Awareness Month 2021 Campaign (Launches October 1)

This year marks the 10th annual Ontario Cyber Security Awareness Month campaign, featuring the theme The Anatomy of a Hack. Each week in October, new material will be released for participants surrounding a cyber attack scenario. Participants will gain access to new content weekly which includes installations of a four-part graphic novel, educational videos, and quizzes. This content will teach participants how to protect themselves from modern-day cyber threats. All campaign content will be freely accessible through Ontario’s Cyber Security Awareness Month website.

If interested, visit Ontario’s CSD campaign website for more information:  https://cybersecurityontario.ca/mod/page/view.php?id=204&lang=en. Participants can also register to receive links to the weekly content that will be posted on the site, as well as upcoming content. To register, use the following link: https://cybersecurityontario.ca/mod/page/view.php?id=171.

This campaign is delivered with limited tailoring ability and the content will be released during each week in October.

Get Cyber Safe, Government of Canada

Get Cyber Safe from the government of Canada has been providing awareness campaigns and resources for many years to inform Canadians about cyber security. Many of the resources they produce is leveraged in the K-12 CAM campaign.

Get Cyber Safe creates a Cyber Security Awareness Month campaign every year to help the public learn more about the importance of cyber security. This year the theme is ‘Life Happens Online’. For more information, consult the Get Cyber Safe website: https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/en/cyber-security-awareness-month.

For more information about the Get Cyber Safe weekly themes use the following link: https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/en/csam-themes.