NCDIT Announces New Cybersecurity Website for Schools and Students

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The N.C. Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) announced today its new website aimed at educating K-12 students, school administrators and parents on the dangers of cyberattacks and how best to protect yourself from becoming a victim. Cyberattacks are on the rise as our online presence is growing due to COVID-19 and the increase in remote learning and working.

“Because of COVID-19, we are constantly online, now more than ever. This constant connection to each other through the internet provides more opportunities for bad actors to try and take advantage of us,” said Thomas Parrish, Acting Secretary and State Chief Information Officer for the NCDIT. “Keeping our state’s residents and data safe is a team effort, and we hope this website serves as an educational playbook to form a solid defense.”

CyberSecureNC for Schools and Students is a comprehensive website and educational effort dedicated to helping school administrators, teachers, students and parents with the transition to working and learning remotely and doing it in a safe and cybersecure way  The website offers information to help anyone and everyone in learning the basics of cybersecurity, including vocabulary to understand the most commonly used cybersecurity terms and the ABCs of phishing scams. It also includes resources, like the NC 211 Cybercrime Support Hotline and best practices when it comes to remote learning, whether you’re a teacher or a student. This effort is part of CyberSecureNC, the agency’s statewide effort to promote being cybersafe, as well as what to do if you become a victim of a cyberattack.

Cyberattacks are not new to North Carolinians. In 2019, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 8,223 cybercrime reports totaling over $48 million in losses. “The use of IT solutions and online interactions are organic to kids today. Teaching them about online security practices should also be organic.  It should be looked at in the same manner as alerting them of strangers or looking both ways when crossing a street,” said Maria Thompson, Chief Risk Officer for the state of North Carolina. “It is so important to educate and educate as early as possible. It’s the best way to help prevent you from becoming a victim.” Thompson leads the state’s Enterprise Security and Risk Management Office (ESRMO) which provides cybersecurity assistance to state, local and educational organizations through partnerships with the N.C. National Guard and the FBI as well as safeguarding and securing the state’s data and networks.

To visit the CyberSecureNC for Schools and Students website, visit our website at http://it.nc.gov/cybersecureNC/schools.

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