The school year has begun for many educational institutions nationwide, but the idea of “back to school” looks a little different in 2020. Some classrooms are allowing for hybrid environments where some students may be in-class while others will take courses and complete assignments online. Other schools are staying completely remote for the fall semester. With technology being more important than ever to allow for continued education, there are several data security tips that students should follow.
1. Use strong passwords: There is a multitude of websites that students must use to submit homework assignments, send personal information for school records, or share work with group members. Students should use complex and lengthy passwords that are different for each site. Weak passwords were the cause of nearly 80% of data breaches in 2019.
2. Be smart when using computers: Students who are physically in the school may have some protection against threats because of the security protocols in place within the school’s network. However, students using home computers are subject to receiving phishing emails and other malware that enters through messages that appear to be from a trusted teacher or school administrator. Ensure each message comes from a legitimate email source and do not click on suspicious links.
3. Utilize encryption:Schools need to have a layer of encryption for data that is stored and transferred between devices. They hold a wealth of information on students including health records and personally identifiable information (PII). Individual students can ensure they are using secured websites when researching, and that any information they are submitting is encrypted during sending.
4. Education:Teachers and administrators must teach students how to use technology correctly in a safe way. Computers, tablets, Smartboards, and other devices have become a part of the learning experience and need to be used wisely. Students at home should be given an outline of cybersecurity risks when learning remotely so they can work safely and avoid data breaches and other attacks.
5. Have a Backup strategy:A paper that is written on a library computer can be deleted with an accidental bump of the mouse. Projects that were being completed on a home desktop computer could be lost due to a power surge. The possibility of data loss is apparent in any learning environment and students must protect their files with secure data storage to back up their work.
SecureUSBs are hardware encrypted flash drives that will protect data on-the-go. The drives themselves are water and dust resistant to keep the internal parts clean and protected. Students can unlock the devices using a secure PIN or through using wireless authentication via mobile app. Each device offers brute force anti-hacking to keep unauthorized parties from accessing information and come preloaded with antivirus to ensure no viruses are passed from computer to device.
In a world where technology is keeping everyone connected both in school and at play, it is important to protect your personal information. Students need to stay safe when online and backing up their work with an encrypted solution is a great start. Learn more about the SecureUSBs and how they can fit into your in-person or remote environment by calling 1-800-875-3230.