Ransomware attacks against schools on the rise

Experts suggest children have a password at least 18 characters long
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 11:45 AM AKDT
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InvestigateTV - One in 10 parents last year said their child’s school had been hit with a ransomware attack, according to a survey from cybersecurity company Kaspersky.

Ransomware is when hackers take over a computer system, steal or lock up records and demand a payment to get those records back.  The attack usually begins when hackers gain access through a malicious link in an email.Kurt Baumgartner, a principal security researcher with Kaspersky, predicted a rise in these kinds of attacks this school year.

Baumgartner said with so many young children now on computers, parents need to make sure their kids understand emails and what to open or not open.

“They have to have some sort of interaction with children and guidance for kids about, you know, what’s happening with their passwords,” Baumgartner said.

He said school districts also bear a huge responsibility and advised parents to advocate for better maintenance, updates, and security of the systems.

Baumgartner shared two important tips for parents:

  • Teach your children to have complex passwords from a young age, a minimum of 18 characters
  • Ensure your children always use two-factor authentication

Teaching best practices at an early age helps to protect your children, both at school and at home.

You can find more tips on online safety for children through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Online Surfing program.