mproving technologies and modernization in the education system are paving the way for e-learning. E-learning is more flexible and convenient for students as they don’t need to carry heavy books or pay conveyance charges for reaching their schools or colleges. They can gain knowledge despite being in any corner of the world. Online teaching is highly beneficial, but parents need to take care of cybersecurity for their child’s protection.
Cyber security helps protect our personal data or information like bank details, intellectual property, or private images and videos from malicious cyberattacks by hackers. The recent pandemic, COVID-19, impacted the whole education system of the nation, resulting in a shift from offline teaching to online teaching.
A significant hike in cyber-attacks was noticed in the education sector during this lockdown. According to a report published by Barracuda Networks, the famous firm providing cyber security, hackers used students’ Gmail accounts to steal data for malicious purposes. Incidents like these have compelled users to ensure cyber security in the field of education.
Tips to ensure cyber security in the education sector
1. Use apps and websites which encrypts data
Data encryption allows the transformation of data from readable plaintext format to ciphertext (encoded) format. It reduces the chance of data leakage. You can easily identify encrypted websites by keeping in mind that the URL of protected websites starts with “HTTPS” rather than “HTTP.” The extra “s” here means “secure.”
2. Avoid creating accounts on random websites
Students frequently search for solutions to their textbook exercises. It may lead them to visit unprotected websites. These websites ask for creating accounts by adding personal details. Hackers might use such websites as bait for students to share their personal information. So, always use authentic websites for acquiring the solutions.
3. Install and update antivirus software
Antivirus updates prevent your system from ransomware. Ransomware is malware that blocks access to your own data. You will only be able to open your data when you have a data backup or pay the demanded ransom to the attacker. It is the most common and risky cyber-crime.
4. Always keep strong passwords
Passwords are the most convenient weapons that can be used against hackers. A strong password restrains hackers from decoding it and gain access to your private property. You can use a password manager tool for remembering and managing your passwords.
5. Avoid providing mobile numbers for sign-ups
Students should be cautious while updating their personal mobile numbers on internet sites. These days mobile numbers are connected to bank accounts, and hackers might use this fact to make you bankrupt.
6. Use a VPN
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPN is the best way to protect your personal information over the internet. VPN is highly encrypted and better than normal ISPs (Internet Service Providers). VPN makes unsecured Wi-Fi connections safer for students utilization, enabling them to use internet connections at cafes or libraries.
7. Download study materials from authentic sites
Students avoid buying costly books these days as they get free PDFs of study materials over the internet. However, this asset may involve some loopholes, and hackers may track your activity by sending malware to your PC. It is why students are advised to use authentic sites and apps to download books or other study materials.
Online Teaching software has promoted students to join social media like Facebook and WhatsApp. School authorities share online classes link and other private details over these media applications with the students. So, students must check the privacy terms and conditions of such apps to ensure cyber security.
Cybercrime in the education sector can only be controlled with an efficient cyber security system. Schools should take special classes to make students aware of the importance of cyber security. It is also the responsibility of parents to ensure their child’s safety and be vigilant about their activities over the internet to avoid any uninvited mishap.