For most parents right now, tinkering with computer settings and reading endless privacy policies are not a priority. Heck, they weren’t even particularly appealing tasks before the pandemic and overlapping economic and natural disasters.

But with millions of kids firing up loaner Chromebooks and iPads for the start of their remote school year, it’s important that parents take a few steps to protect their children’s privacy, security and mental health. School days vary wildly between grades, districts and states. Some are using prerecorded lessons, while others require students to keep Zoom on for the entire school day. There are schools that have gone entirely remote, parent-formed pods, hybrid in-person and distance learning, and schools that are trying to return to normal. Even for them, an outbreak could mean remote classes in the future.