Is student data safe online?

keeping student data safe online

The topic regarding student data and how secure it is online has been growing, especially since remote learning has intensified. As an initiative by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), an online safety, security, and privacy campaign called ‘Stop. Think. Connect.” was held in accordance with the National Data Privacy Week last month. This serves as a reminder to those in the education industry to evaluate how we are doing when it comes to keeping our students and their data safe in the classrooms and beyond.

In this era of technological advancements, students, especially those who are minors, now have more access to technology and the internet. This, without a doubt, is a game-changer especially with the ongoing endemic, making learning easier and more accessible from home. However, the age of digital media and the increase/expansion of edtech further emphasize the importance of data privacy in schools. With increased accessibility, there must also be an increase in data protection. 

What is student data?

What is student data? In simple terms, any and every piece of information that allows students to be identified is student data. There are a few types of student data. There are education records, demographics, de-identified data, and aggregate data. These are information that edtech would usually collect and save. 

This data must be protected and secured so intruders would not be able to retrieve student information. Personal information that is illegally gathered can be used against students and parents through phishing attempts. How do intruders get these data you might wonder? There is the “remote attack”, “eavesdropping attack”, and “session hijacking”. 

Student data privacy laws

There are existing laws protecting student data and privacy such as the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and National School Lunch Act (NSLA). FERPA only applies to education records. It allows parents and guardians access to amend education records and the right to control how personal information is disclosed while COPPA aims to protect data for children under the age of 13 from websites and other third-party operators.

Despite the efforts made by software companies and online platforms to protect students’ sensitive information, schools must also adopt security standards for teachers and administrators to follow. This is to further ensure there are proper guidelines and policies when handling student data.

It is important to be mindful of the types of platforms/software students are using in schools. It is important to understand privacy policies. This is to avoid companies from “stealing” or retaining the information you do not consent to. The key is to look for technology that was built for enhancing education and not just for consumers. 

Having these laws is important for all educational software companies to abide by. QuickSchools is no exception to the rule. We have always had a team that ensures these laws are abode by, not just by us and our team, but also by our customers. This keeps all parties safe. 

Tips on how to stay safe online

Here are some extra tips to stay safe on the internet! Use a VPN. This helps by hiding your IP address, browsing activity, and personal data- yes, even at home. If you are outside, be sure to only use secure public Wi-Fi. It is both risky and dangerous to just simply connect to any available Wi-Fi since it might be a trap to lure websurfers and steal personal information. The last thing you should do is surf the net without protection in place hence, always use anti-virus and firewall software. 

When visiting any website, it is important to see if the URL contains ‘HTTPS’ instead of ‘HTTP’. The difference? The ‘S’ ensures visitors that the website has encryption. Any data transferred on the website is safe.

Last but not least, create secure and complex passwords. Mix up lowercase and uppercase letters, include some numbers as well as symbols like the hashtag # or the dollar sign $, and you’re good to go! 

Your student data is safe with QuickSchools

QuickSchools uses Amazon Web Services (AWS). Hence, we have the advantage to use the same security features provided by Amazon The security features include network, hardware, software, and on-premise security. At QuickSchools, we also employ Standard Encryption Protocols, (like SSL) which is similar to what banks use. All passwords are encrypted, even on the database, to ensure your data is kept safely secured. QuickSchools has always wanted to ensure that your data is always safe, hence why we opted for a cloud-based system from the very beginning. A highly secure way of storing your precious data. QuickSchools always expand our security features. Our blog always contains any updates we may have.

QuickSchools is determined to make sure your school and student information will never fall into the wrong hands! 

Come join us for a free trial to discover all the features yourself!  

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