Be Aware

  • Published
  • By TSgt Terrica Y. Jones
  • 916th Air Refueling Wing

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and National Bullying Prevention Month and with students across the United States virtually learning from the comforts of their home, staying safe online and practicing bullying prevention are two important tools for a healthy learning environment.

Master Sgt. Marvin Davis, 916th Air Refueling Wing, functional manager, shares how he stays vigilant about cyber security.

“I’m very intentional about the information I display or access because I’m always thinking someone is trying to steal my identity or information,” said Davis. “The most important thing about cyber security is having a secure password, trying to maintain my privacy, and preventing any data breach. I try to keep it business and I don’t click on anything extra for the marketers or hackers,” he said.

Due to the recent pandemic, schools across the United States implemented various levels of remote learning to decrease possible covid-19 exposures. Students may no longer spend all their time in the classroom face to face with their teacher, but instead log in to various web platforms for their lessons at home. The new learning style means 916th ARW parents may have to practice cyber security awareness and bullying prevention with their remote learners.

“It is never too early to start preparing kids for topics like cyber bullying and to make sure they have the tools and are aware of the red flags of what is appropriate and what is inappropriate,” said Senior Master Sgt. Peter Miller, 916th ARW Inspection Planner, whom has two remote learners at home.

“To teach them that they deserve respect and they shouldn’t let people mistreat them over social media or in person, because people are people whether they are behind a cell phone or computer,” he said.

“I try to use the training we receive at work when I get home, that way my security mentality is always at the forefront,” said Davis.  “I don’t go for the click bait and if my five-year-old is going to watch something, I make sure to block the stuff I don’t want her to see, and I enable or subscribe to the stuff I want her to see.”

“There is a lot of standing over my child’s shoulders as well as mentioning to them not to click on pop-up links that may appear," said Davis.  “‘If you weren’t looking for it, then it wasn’t important anyway, so don’t click it!’ is one of my favorite sayings to my kids.  We put time limits on computer/tablet/phone use as well as restrictions to what can be accessed,” said Davis.

“Since cyber bulling can have a signification impact on a child’s self-esteem, it is definitely something that needs to be taught and guarded from the parents’ perspective specifically because kids don’t just naturally know this stuff. They do need to hear it over and over again and then monitor it,” said Miller.

“I talk to my children and check on them periodically throughout the day, said 2nd Lt. Kathy Estrada, 916th Force Support Officer. “It is very apparent when they are upset, especially being isolated without classmates to lean on, they get worked up a lot faster with no in person assistance.”

Miller added, “There are a lot of risks. Kids are growing up and they just don’t seem to either know any better or think about the consequences of their actions because they just don’t have the experience and the wisdom adults get. I get blown away sometimes because I talk to my son and I think my son has heard it so many times now, that he is almost coaching me. I think alright you are going to be alright and that’s a good feeling.”

For more information about cyber security awareness and bully prevention for your remote learner, check your child’s school district’s website. Additional information and resources related to bullying can be found at