Stu­dents need to un­der­stand cy­ber se­cu­rity risks

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - EDUCATION WEEK 2018 -

Thanks to ad­vance­ments in tech­nol­ogy, stu­dents and ed­u­ca­tors are in­creas­ingly turn­ing to both, tablets and com­put­ers when work­ing on daily as­sign­ments and class­room ac­tiv­i­ties. Stu­dents rely on the in­ter­net for re­search and keep­ing in touch with teach­ers and other stu­dents, and work is even as­signed and com­pleted via dig­i­tal plat­forms.

De­spite the up­side of tech­nol­ogy, cy­ber crime is a po­ten­tial pit­fall of all that time spent on­line. The in­ter­net pro­vides instant ac­cess, and that can put stu­dents at risk.

Ac­cord­ing to Ver­i­zon’s 2016 Data Breach In­ves­ti­ga­tions Re­port, the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor ranked sixth in the United States for the to­tal num­ber of re­ported “se­cu­rity in­ci­dents.” Schools are data-rich, mean­ing they give hack­ers ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion like iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­bers, birth­dates, email ad­dresses, fi­nan­cial data, med­i­cal records, and more.

Stu­dents must un­der­stand cy­ber se­cu­rity risks when work­ing and shar­ing data on­line. The fol­low­ing are some tips stu­dents can fol­low.

• Pro­tect pass­words. Stu­dents are urged to keep their pass­words to them­selves. This pre­vents oth­ers from us­ing accounts ma­li­ciously or even in seem­ingly harm­less ways that can put you in trou­ble, such as search­ing for in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­tent in school. Choose com­pli­cated pass­words that can’t be eas­ily guessed, and opt for two-step au­then­ti­ca­tion when­ever of­fered.

• Use se­cured WiFi net­works. Free or open WiFi con­nec­tions are not en­crypted, mean­ing they can be ac­cessed by any­one. Many cy­ber crim­i­nals gain ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion through these chan­nels. Schools should have en­crypted sys­tems in place.

• Limit what you share on the in­ter­net. Stu­dents are urged to be aware of what they share on­line. Ac­cord­ing to Data Man­age­ment, a com­put­ing ser­vice, in­for­ma­tion posted to so­cial me­dia is per­ma­nent, and deleted items aren’t nec­es­sar­ily gone. Ex­er­cise cau­tion on so­cial me­dia. Don’t post un­less it is some­thing you would be com­fort­able shar­ing in pub­lic.

• Watch out for phish­ing scams. Phish­ing usu­ally oc­curs through fraud­u­lent email mes­sages that mimic the look of rep­utable so­lic­i­ta­tions. Scam­mers rely on these tactics to tempt peo­ple to click on links or down­load at­tach­ments that can put mal­ware on a de­vice and steal per­sonal data. Ex­er­cise cau­tion with all links and down­loads.

• Sched­ule rou­tine back­ups. Data can be lost if a de­vice crashes, so rou­tinely back up per­sonal de­vices and home com­put­ers. Back­ups can be stored on ex­ter­nal hard drives or with cloud ser­vices.

• Ex­er­cise cau­tion when file­shar­ing. UC Santa Cruz’s in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy ser­vices says viruses and mal­ware can be trans­mit­ted by file­shar­ing soft­ware, and files of­fered by oth­ers may not be what they say they are. Only used school-ap­proved file­shar­ing op­tions.

Cy­ber se­cu­rity is some­thing stu­dents should pri­or­i­tize this school year. The right se­cu­rity mea­sures can pro­tect stu­dents, their class­mates and their schools. (MCC)

Photo: Getty imaGeS

Stu­dents should im­ple­ment cy­ber se­cu­rity prac­tices at home and in school.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.