A message about cyber safety and technological devices

Dear Florida Union Free School District Families:

Welcome back to a new school year. As we embark on the 2023-24 school year and leave the summer months behind, it is important to provide some reminders in the area of technology.

Technology is an integral part of our day-to-day lives at school and home. Students must use it appropriately and have it ready for learning when they arrive at school. Protecting children on the Internet is a matter of awareness – knowing what dangers lurk and how to safeguard against them.

Although cyber security software can help protect against some threats, the most important safety measure is open communication with your children.

Here are a few important reminders:

  • Don’t share details like full names, birthdates, school names, and locations on public platforms. Be cautious of emails that appear to be sent by a friend or teacher that ask for personal information.
  • Teach your children about the importance of online privacy and responsible internet use.
  • Set strict controls over who can see your posts and your children’s information.
  • Keep up-to-date with the apps and websites your children are using. Some platforms may collect personal information or have questionable privacy practices.
  • Regularly engage in open conversations with your children about their online experiences. Ask about the websites they visit, the apps they use, and the interactions they have.

Chromebook usage is one important aspect of your child’s education experience. The District Technology Department observed a significant increase in Chromebook damage during the 2022-23 school year and summer months.

Please speak with your child about these important reminders to help protect their District issued device:

  • Always use both hands when carrying your Chromebook.
    Close your Chromebook before lifting it or carrying it.
  • Do not put excessive weight onto your Chromebook.
  • NOTE – Some book bags have built-in laptop pockets. These are good, but you cannot place excessive amounts of books on top of it or drop or slam your bag.
  • Do not eat or drink near your Chromebook.
  • Only clean the screen with a soft, dry anti-static, or microfiber cloth.
  • Be gentle when using your touchscreen. Extreme force will cause it to crack or shatter.
  • Extreme cold or hot temperatures will cause damage to your Chromebook.
  • Placing stickers on your device eventually leads to a sticky surface.
  • Do not tamper with, alter, or remove the identification labels currently on the Chromebook.
  • Remember you are responsible for any damage or breakage and will have to pay to repair it.
  • Always close out of open windows and log off your Chromebook when you finish using it. Simply closing the lid is different from logging off the device.

The District’s Technology Department looks forward to providing grade-level appropriate cybersecurity and Chromebook care lessons quarterly to students in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. Lessons will kick off later this month and continue throughout the term.