Education

Bringing Cyber Safety to School: Safeguarding Online Education

When the Covid-19 pandemic brushed across the planet in 2020, Educational institutes got closed and education was moved to students’ homes. Accordingly, our country similarly to considerable others encountered the challenge of an accidental and enriched move to online learning.

This represents an important time to contemplate technology, pedagogy/andragogy, and education. Digital technology played a big role in empowering teachers to show students at a distance using tools that enabled both synchronous and asynchronous communication.All these aspect tells us about how important is cybersecurity career for a upcoming aspirants

As more education functionaries coordinate the Teaching-Learning Process via the web or digital means, they’re constantly in jeopardy and are targeted by hackers through various sorts of malware and cyberattacks.

However, technological advancements continue to pose new cybersecurity threats to our confidentiality. When we use smartphones, we – and our children – encounter spam, scams, impersonation, and fraud, to name a few.

Check out types of cyber attack that every schools should know

According to a recent story in The Atlantic, the “kid internet” offers a plethora of creative and connecting opportunities for children, parents, and educators; yet big platforms are not doing enough to protect children in this developing online environment.

Despite popular opinion, children are concerned about their privacy. They do, however, require assistance and advice from trusted adults in order to make sound decisions and stay safe.

Information is available on the Internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For schools (both public and private), online capabilities provide access to a vast array of information while also facilitating distance learning and communication between courses and students in different locations. Along with the benefits of the internet, however, there are disadvantages, such as new hazards to kids.

These risks are described in detail in recent news articles:

 

Using social media, one man extorted sexually explicit photographs from youngsters.

  1. Cyberbullying has reportedly increased in New York City schools.
  2. These instances can lead to depression and anxiety, as well as health issues and lower academic accomplishment among students.
  3. Federal law and regulations, such as the Children’s Internet Protection Act, provide certain online protections for children.
  4. CIPA strives to protect children online from indecent or hazardous content. Schools and libraries that are eligible for E-rate (Universal Utility Program for Schools and Libraries) discounts on telecommunications, Internet access, or internal connections must certify that they require an online safety policy that blocks or filters access to obscene, kiddie porn, or harmful to minors images.

 

While CIPA may assist students avoid viewing improper content on the internet, it does not guarantee that they will be safe from all online hazards.

To assist in addressing these issues, the following information is offered on the most prevalent online risks that children face, as well as what schools may do before, during, and after an event.

As more education officials organise the Teaching-Learning Process via the internet or digital methods, they are always at risk of being targeted by hackers via malware and cyber-attacks.

According to a report published by Check Point Research (CPR) in August 2021, the education industry in India was attacked substantially more than other industries globally, with an average of 5,196 attacks each week.

Because online education is currently the most widely used and important media, both students and teachers may be increasingly vulnerable to cyber security breaches. While both private and public schools use Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, or Skype, millions of students and teachers have been exposed to dangerous cyber behaviours. After a porn movie appeared on Zoom and an unknown identity entered a Zoom class for a Jamshedpur-based school and began messing with the shared screens, a reputable institution in Bangalore had to halt an online chemistry class.

Zoom bombings are a prevalent occurrence all throughout the world. The risk has gotten more significant as the Internet has kept us connected during the pandemic.

Email spoofing, malicious file applications, social engineering, cyberbullying, cyber grooming, identity theft, job fraud, banking frauds, keylogger, SMS spoofing, call spoofing ransomware, cyber-stalking, picture morphing, profile hacking, online games, deep-fake, camera hacking, online radicalization, and other methods are some of the most common methods used by cybercriminals.

The Education Sector is at jeopardy, but there appears to be no other option. However, blocking websites or overbearing internet monitoring are not the same as heavy online restrictions or limited internet usage when it comes to online safety and prevention. The best way to protect children from cyberbullying is to make it easy for them to access the internet, preserve their privacy, encourage individualism, and ensure that they can recognise possible threats and know what to do about them.

Digital citizenship, which includes Digital Access, Digital Literacy, Digital Communication, Digital Commerce, Digital Etiquette, Digital Health and Wellness, Digital Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities, Digital Security, and Digital Law, has emerged as a useful framework for various aspects that need to be established and reinforced as soon as possible in the educational sector.

Educational institutions that are entrusted with the safety of their pupils should have a strong cyber security infrastructure in place that eliminates all threats and allows no room for breaches.

These institutions must recognise that cyber security is critical not only to defend against financial loss and avoid interruption, but also to safeguard students from damage. NCERT’s Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) has created a series of booklets on cyber safety and security called “Be Safe in Cyber World.”

In addition, CIET has made internet safety and security guidelines for teenagers and girls available. These booklets explored all four facets of living in a digital world: technological, social, legal, and ethical. These must be made available by educational institutions. Parents, teachers, and students must have access to these resources, which must be made available by educational institutions. The education industry must secure its applications and systems and address any cyber security risks that may arise. With the growing need, threats, challenges, and necessity, there is a great need for quality educators or experts in the field of education who can be instrumental in developing and escalating awareness among students and parents about threats, challenges, prevention, and reporting through various capacity building programmes in Cyber Security.

The use of the internet in schools should be governed by a policy. Lay out everything in plain, easy-to-understand language. Describe how kids should use the internet in school, what they should avoid, and how they should communicate with others online. Students should be informed about this policy. A school must also keep up with online advancements and ensure that pupils can discuss any issues they have with teachers.

The more schools that are aware of the situation, the more they will be able to assist.

  • Invest in a strong firewall as a security and detection strategy for schools.

Educate Students with different cyber security projects, courses, and many other security related activities.

  • Assign strong passwords to students and teachers.
  • Establish a password procedure that outlines strong password guidelines, frequent password changes, and the avoidance of reusing old passwords.
  • Use only validated open source or licenced software and operating systems and ensure that only authorised individuals have access to computer systems and laboratories.
  • Prevent personal devices, such as USB drives or hard discs, from being used on the network.
  • Enable automatic software and operating system upgrades on your computer.
  • Make sure each system’s antivirus software is up to date.
  • Consider utilising content filtering software to restrict file extensions like.bat,.cmd,.exe, and .pif.
  • When students, instructors, and administrators log on, use two-factor or multi-factor authentication.
  • Use a secure password, WEP encryption, and other methods to protect your Wi-Fi connection. Encrypting network traffic is a good idea.
  • Change the administrator’s password to something other than the default. Create a password for the wireless network if one does not already exist and use it to safeguard it.
  • Turn off file sharing on your PC.
  • Turn off the network when not in use for long periods of time, etc.
  • Switch to “limited mode”

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