IT and Cyber Security

Cybersecurity: Beware the dangers of online schooling

The future of South Africa’s school year remains up in the air. There is some scepticism about whether the education will be able to return to normal in time to complete the school year.

In the absence of school classrooms, a large percentage of pupils have had taken advantage of technology to keep up with their curriculums. Overall it has been impressive how quickly we’ve managed to adapt using technology.

However, the move to technology-based learning platforms is not without its own set of challenges and risks. As consumers, there is a gap in security knowledge when it comes to working from home.

CYBERSECURITY RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH ONLINE SCHOOLING

Unsecure networks

Most adults who have the luck to be working from will be connecting to their work networks from their company’s laptops. Big companies will typically put have spent a lot of time and money safeguarding their devices and networks.

This is, unfortunately, might give a lot of parents a false sense of security about how to secure working from home is.

It’s also vital to remember that your local network is only as safe as its the weakest link; cybercriminals can target your children. If they manage to gain access to your network, all other computers and devices on your local network are at risk.

With children connected to the internet and taking part in online classes, using web applications, etc., parents need to be on the lookout for technological and social threats they may not have considered before.

Cyberbullying and cyber-risks

These risks include cyberbullying, phishing attacks, and hacking of home and remote networks. It’s critical that teachers and parents monitor the online environments that online pupils are encountering with online learning.

Teachers need to moderate the content and tone of these online discussions and groups; parents need to keep on eye on what is being said and who has access to these online forums. Even if it is schooling-related.

While working on your home network, children are susceptible to being tricked into clicking on unsafe links or sharing sensitive information with strangers online.

It’s important to teach your children about the potential dangers of following links from dubious sources; or disclosing any information that isn’t already available on their public profiles. Similarly, schools that offer pupils access to their network need to ensure they have sufficient security.

Compromising pupils’ information

Allowing access to an unsecured school network could result in compromising pupils personal and academic information and even the school’s financial systems.

Companies such as Fortinet offers multiple levels of training for parents and pupils. It focuses on broad cyber awareness; as well as technical skills to help navigate the complexities of online security.

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