A Little BIT of advice

This week school started for us. With one kid each in high school, middle school, elementary school and preschool, there is a pretty good chance that at some point this year I’ll be compelled to run screaming from the house, ball up in the fetal position on the lawn and chant “Calgon take me away” uncontrollably until the little white wagon shows up to chauffeur me to my custom made padded hotel room that has a really cool lock which only works from the OUTSIDE!

There is just SO much to do and even more to think about… buses, teams, teachers, bullies, lunches, homework, fashion, grades, quality time.. no more NAP time! One of the things I wasn’t really considering though my pals over at Bitdefender brought up. In this day and age we don’t have to so much think about the three hole punch and five subject notebook as we do document storage and safety.  Really guys.. thanks! Like I needed one more thing to think about. They are totally right -once again- though. As a BitMom I’m really a lucky girl. Not only has the Bitdefender anit-virus software saved my netbook (truly this JUST happened four days ago) but I get all kinds of great advice, info and support from them and the other BitMoms in the community. Come join us.. the secret password is givemecoffee.. ha ha you don’t need a password but you WILL love the community!

The following is an article from Bitdefender and BitMoms.. enjoy (oh and hey, go visit Bitdefender, watch their new video and come back to comment about what you thought, some random comments will receive a keycode to try out Bitdefender for themselves!)

BitMoms & BitDefender Provide a Lesson on Different Way to Save Files

August signifies the winding down of summer and the fresh school year. This year
as you shop for back to school items, check your family computer to ensure that your
antivirus software is current and can safeguard your machine from potential viruses that
can come from opening infected files at home and school.

These days, students have a myriad of ways they can create and save documents to be
accessed in multiple locations but each has its benefits and risks. Here’s a quick run
down of the top ways students save files along with the pros and cons of each.

USB flash drives

USB flash drives are removable and rewriteable portable storage devices that plug into a
USB port. The come in a variety of different styles, range in their storage capacity, and
are widely available.

Pros: The small size of USB drives makes them easy to attach to a backpack,
keychain, or slip into a pocket. They also durable due to the lack of moving parts
and tend to be quite reliable for accessing documents over an extended period of
time. They are available in a wide range of sizes.

Cons: While the size and portability of USB drives is appealing, they are also easily
misplaced. Not only does it cost money to replace them but data is often lost unless
a regular backup is done to store documents on the home computer. USB drives
have a fairly long life but can also die without warning rendering all data on the
drive inaccessible. USB drives can also be infected with viruses living on the host
computers they are plugged into and be a way to unknowingly install viruses on
your home computer.

Emailing assignments

These days it seems like most kids, even in the upper elementary grades, have an email
address. Email accounts are free thanks to Yahoo, Gmail, and many other internet
service providers.

Pro: A student can work on an assignment at home and attach it to an email to
themselves which can be opened at school if your school allows student use of email
for class work. This serves as a free and easy way to ensure that documents are
accessible for working on them at home, school, or wherever your child has an
internet connection.

Cons: Your home computer may run a different version of software than your
child’s school. Having different versions of software, such as Microsoft Office, can
make it impossible to open documents at school if you have a newer version installed
at home. To alleviate this problem, teach your child how to do a “save as” to save
their document in a compatible file format that can be read at school. Incompatible
file formats that make documents unreadable at school can be frustrating for
children if they want to add last minute touches to their homework at school
but can’t open their assignment. Also, there is a high risk of viruses attaching
themselves to Microsoft Word documents thanks to macros that are written into the
language of the program. To avoid this turn on Macro Virus Protection and make
sure your antivirus software is current and always scanning in the background.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a way you can create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets online
using your Gmail account.

Pro: The use of Google Docs is free, easy to navigate and use, and allows users
to access their documents from any computer with an internet connection which
makes it an efficient choice for students on the go. Google Docs enables users
to share their work and collaborate on an assignment which is useful for group
assignments. The autosave feature helps making sure that changes are frequently
saved and working in Google Docs eliminates the problem of incompatible file
formats. Since Google Docs is its own system, creating, editing, and saving
documents while they are part of Google Docs is a safe way to avoid potential
viruses and malware.

Con: Google Docs requires an internet connection in order to access documents.
Some schools don’t allow the use of Google Docs. If you convert your Google Doc
into another file format to email it to someone, there is the potential that a virus will
sneak in the emailed document.

Regardless of your child’s preferred way to save and access documents both at home and
school, knowing the risks that come with each method helps prevent potential problems
that could jeopardize your student’s ability to get work turned in on time and harm your
family computer. If you feel like your computer has been compromised, you can always
run BitDefender’s free online scanner directly from your browser to immediately clean
your system memory.

This article was provided as exclusive content by BitDefender because of my role as a
BitMom Blog Network Member. No compensation was received for sharing this post
however; BitMoms is providing me with a blog conference stipend and other materials
to help me facilitate sharing topics of internet safety and security with my readers and
through the BitMom Community.

One thought on “A Little BIT of advice”

  1. I know first hand how busy the start of school is which is why we thought we’d give you this article to share with your readers to spread awareness as the year starts rather than adding a security crisis to your plates mid-year! I hope the start of school has gone well for your family! Wow- an elementary, middle, and high schooler is quite impressive! 🙂
    Leticia- Chief BitMom´s last blog post ..Paper Jamz- New Touch Sensor Guitar for Young Rockers

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