In a word: yes!
EdTech apps, software, and devices can make learning in the classroom more engaging and interactive. But educational technology is still technology. When using EdTech, whether it is a basic calculation app or a more in-depth blogging platform, data is being input by both teachers and students, and sometimes that data can be sensitive and full of private information.
Keeping your school’s network and infrastructure safe and sound is vital. So we found a few tips to help keep your school’s information confidential.
Tip #1: Encrypt everything!
Anyone can intercept or take a peek at your network traffic over an open Wi-Fi connection. An easy way to block these interferences is to encrypt all of your data. Put passwords on your network’s Wi-Fi and require logins (with strong password requirements) in order to access the system. And use full-disk encryption on any computers and laptops your school uses or sends home with students.
Tip #2: Teach computer safety and security
A breach can still happen even if you lock your network down tight. Educate your staff and students to never login to websites that are not secure, such as websites that do not use HTTP. Other useful information, such as how to avoid phishing sites and not placing any real personal information online will boost your school’s security, as well as teach good technology safety for your students’ future.
Tip #3: Avoid the Cloud
While cloud technology is useful for storage and collaboration, make sure that everything that gets sent to a c loud system or third-party system is encrypted. Any un-encrypted data sent to a cloud storage system can be accessed by the provider, making it vulnerable.
Tip #4: Ask security questions about the EdTech before buying
Find out before you buy whether a device will be safe to setup on your network. Talk to the edtech providers and ask them important questions about the data their programs will be collecting, such as:
- What information does the app/software/device collect?
- Who can see, access, change or delete the information being collected?
- Why is this information being saved?
- Where does this information go? Are the cloud solutions and databases secure?
Tip #5: Stay up to date with updates and fixes
Update your software and computers often. Most breaches come from known vulnerabilities in a system. Keeping your systems up to date with the latest patches will make these types of easy breaches harder. Make sure to keep your anti-virus and protection software up to date and routinely scanning for potential problems.