‘I recently spoke to teachers about what concerned them most about their students’ cybersecurity concerns. I found out quite a bit, which I would like to share in this article’.
Brad Smith from turnonvpn.org looks into different types of cyber threats facing teachers and how they can protect themselves and their students.
Cyberthreats have become a major problem all over the world, as we rely on the Internet increasingly. As the pandemic has compelled remote learning, teachers and students are facing more cybersecurity risks than before.
Let’s look at some of the cybersecurity concerns teachers have:
Data breaches happen a lot, even to big corporations. Hackers have become very adept at hacking into systems and the risks increase every day. The teachers shared their fear of data breaches occurring due to the security status of the students’ networks.
No matter how strong a security system is, it only takes a student to click on a link containing a virus, and the whole school system might become severely compromised. The school Wi-Fi network connects to hundreds of devices and its database holds extensive data.
A data breach could threaten the security of teachers, parents, and students as well. The school should ensure teachers and students have data protection measures in place.
For instance, teachers and students should consider downloading a VPN to secure your connection. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates a private and secure network between your device and the internet. It encrypts all communication, making it hard for anyone to spy on the network or read the data, especially sensitive information like payment information of parents.
The teachers expressed their concerns about poor cybersecurity practices. A school’s security can be compromised by a weak link, which is usually the student. Human error is usually the cause of most data breaches. Mistakes such as using out-of-date or discontinued software can leave an entire institution vulnerable to hacking.
Teachers, students, and the entire school faculty need to be educated on cyber-threats. Hackers send malicious programs embedded in innocent-looking emails or links in emails. Once the email is opened or one clicks on the link, the malicious program embeds itself into the school system. Once inside, the malware wreaks havoc by either holding the school data ransom or rewriting data, causing untold damages.
The schools need to update all their firewalls, anti-malware, and anti-virus software to counter any hacking attempts. There have been cases of students hacking into the school system to change grades or get out of doing an exam.
The teachers suggested that cybersecurity be taught in schools and that most children and teenagers did not have sufficient skills in cybersecurity. Computing skills sometimes include cyber etiquette, but online security is not addressed thoroughly. They believed that if cybersecurity was introduced in schools, more students would be more aware of what to do and what not to when faced with a cyber-threat, whether in school or at home.
Cyber threats are everywhere. In this digital age where students do all their assignments online, dangers abound. Most teachers worry about data breaches of the school database, where personal information of parents and students are stored.
With the schools’ Wi-Fi connecting to huge numbers of devices, it is easy for a hacker to piggyback on one of the devices and infiltrate the school system. By downloading a VPN, the school stands a better chance of preventing hackers from intercepting their communication.
Since the quickest way into a school system is the students, educating them by introducing cybersecurity in school is important in the war against cybercrime. This also adequately prepares them for life beyond school.