The internet is an essential tool these days, and while it brings many positive benefits to our world, it can also introduce an element of risk. Just like fire safety and CPR, knowing how to stay safe while using the internet is a very important skill – especially when you work with children.
We’ve developed a few tips to help keep your camp, class or studio internet safe.
Basic Safety Policy
First, make sure that all the adults who work in your facility–both paid staff and volunteers–know the basic rules and procedures to follow when it comes to the internet. All of your staffers should understand and agree to the policy as part of the contract of working with you.
- Always lock computers or tablets when not in use (even for short periods of time).
- Change passwords regularly. For the most up-to-date password safety protocols, check here.
- Train team members on how to recognize suspicious emails and avoid downloading attachments that could cause harm to their computers and your network.
- Create a plan in case a device is stolen or lost to ensure that information is kept safe.
Parental Control Settings
If you make technology available to kids as part of your camp or classroom program, it’s imperative that you have parental controls on all internet-enabled devices. These controls ensure that children don’t have access to disturbing content. If you have the luxury of an internal IT department, you can also ask them to set up firewall protections so that teachers’ and administrators’ computers can’t be used for unapproved purposes.
It’s important to ensure that your Wi-Fi network access is password protected, as well. You may even want to disable the internet on devices that are used primarily for offline purposes. Alternately, you can pre-set several trusted URLs to keep children from visiting any other sites.
If you are accepting class registrations for students and their parents are using your system to pay for those classes, the database where their payment and personal information is stored needs to be highly secure. Make sure your website has up-to-date SSL certificates and that your registration software uses encryption techniques to keep data safe, especially if it’s cloud-based. And if you’re still using spreadsheets to log sensitive information, it’s probably time to upgrade to a more secure system. There is nothing worse for any brand’s reputation than a data breach.
ACTIVE Camp & Class Manager includes data protection for your class registration system, as well as any other data you accumulate for your camp. Find out more about how we help guard against hackers and data breaches here.