The continuous rise in zoom bombing and data theft from reputed educational apps has pushed schools stick to netiquettes for online classes and security measures like screen locking and secret sharing of passwords only minutes before classes commence. In a major data theft issue, a Bangalore school had to snap a zoom video class after an obscene video had popped up on the screen. Similarly, a school from Jamshedpur reported a third party invading into the online class and manipulating the shared screens. In all these cases, the classes were terminated abruptly.
Post Covid-19, most private schools have switched to Zoom for teaching. Although the latest version of the app Zoom 5.0 promises of encryption and series of privacy updates, educators have expressed reluctance.
How can Students Manage Personal Data?
Creation of complex and unique passwords could be a feasible alternative to surpass hacks. Besides using a combination of letters and numbers, cybersecurity experts also suggest using symbols or using password metre tools to specifically assess the strength of each password. Frequent change of passwords is also advisable.
One of the easiest ways to avoid falling prey to phishing scams is avoiding mail with multiple recipients. Attachment files with odd extensions such as .exe could be potentially harmful.
Students accessing online classes using public wi-fi are more prone to data theft. Hackers generally fit malware into the computers and devices under the guise of software updates as users log into public wi-fi hotspots. Via the software, hackers extract sensitive information.
“After the reports of Zoom bombings, we have changed our way of using online platform for teaching. It is true that teachers will have to put some extra effort but that is necessary for safety,” comments Preeti Sinha, Principal, Gulmohur High School, Jamshedpur.
Many schools are allowing entry of students identifying them with the exact names as registered in school data at least till Cyber Peace Foundation could jot guidelines or netiquettes for online classes.
“Every class has to be password protected and this data should be sent individually. Teachers will have to take extra care and should allow students by their names. Access to the class will have to be student-specific. This might take some extra time but will keep them safe,” said Kumar.