Digital Privacy and Security for Educators
Digital learning is a part of most classrooms in America, and tech titans like Google have a huge market share in schools. More than half of the digital technology platforms used by schools have little to no security features or policies.
Edtech vendors collect a plethora of data on the students using the devices, most of which is unnecessary. This information can include student names, social security numbers, physical addresses, medical information (including insurance policy information), and assessment results, all of which hackers seek.
Educators must guard this data to protect the children they serve; both teachers and school administrators must assure digital privacy and security.
What this means for teachers
- Teach students about the importance of cybersecurity.
Students often don’t understand that they are creating a digital footprint with every top on a screen or click of a mouse.
- Provide lessons on digital citizenship, and recognize students who model good behavior.
Every edtech user has a responsibility to preserve digital privacy and security.
- Help parents understand the risks and the benefits of being able to use technology. Be sure they know the benefits as well as the possible drawback of using – or not using – specific technologies. You may also need to explain that parents who opt out of digital programs have few alternatives, which suggest their children may be left behind.
How school administrators can assist
Expect explanations from your digital partners for what will be collected, how it will be used and when it’s deleted. If they can not provide you with this, then don’t do business with them.
- Provide professional development about digital privacy and security.
Train teachers how to be transparent in explaining data privacy and security to parents and guardians. The final decision on whether or not their child gets to use a specific program may come down to how well the parents understand the consequences. When stakeholders are kept in the loop, their anxieties about digital privacy and security are lessened.
- Monitor data access.
You must protect the personal information of your students, teachers and other employees. Regularly monitor the flow of data to verify that hackers are not pulling personal digital data. Have a Data Loss Prevention Plan in place when your firewall is breached.
Students and school employees have the right to digital privacy. Keeping their data secure is the responsibility of digital citizens at every level. If you want your organization to thrive in this digital world, then data privacy and security should be a top priority.