Learn more about the benefits of online education and how students can benefit from it.

While online educational systems have been growing at a tremendous rate, cybersecurity of the systems has not kept up. Students and teachers alike find security gaps in the systems and loopholes that allow hackers to gain access to confidential and valuable information. This is further compounded by the fact that online education systems are often built upon software platforms that are not adequately secured.

word-image-10755 Since the internet and technology have become available to the average person, there are online courses to learn. The pandemic has provided the impetus to take online teaching and learning to the next level. Schools and universities that regularly offer online courses and changing work cultures have made remote working the daily norm. The cyber attacks affected approximately 1,000 schools, colleges and universities worldwide between June and September 2020. It is therefore clear that cyber security awareness has become a priority in this new teaching and learning standard. Teachers and students who use online teaching and learning in their daily lives must ensure that their devices are secure and that they use technology wisely so that they do not fall victim to cyber attacks.

Transition to regular online teaching and learning

When pandemics cut us off from the world, education and learning moved. Teachers, students and parents – none of them were prepared for such a rapid change. Students were not equipped with the technology they needed, such as laptops or Internet connections, and many parents did not know how to use the technology. In June 2020, Microsoft Security Intelligence reported that about 61 percent of the 7.7 million malware attacks were attributed to education. The main reason cyber security is important to teachers and students is that they are not very tech savvy.

Cyber threats to schools and teachers

School systems and teachers are attacked along the following five axes.

Phishing

Carefully disguised attacks aim to trick victims into revealing confidential information such as credit card details and passwords. About 90 percent of attacks begin as phishing attacks, CoSN said.

Distributed denial of service (DDOS)

Cyber attacks aim to attack multiple systems by overloading server resources.

Data breach

Sensitive and private data is collected by cybercriminals through data breaches.

Ransomware

In this case, cybercriminals demand ransom for the data in exchange for money or other demands. It is estimated that ransomware will be worth approximately $7.5 billion by 2019.

Cyber security tips for teachers

Given the threats that educators face, we need to think about precautions to ensure safety when using computers.

Data encryption

Cybercriminals gain access to classroom content as it passes from teacher to student. Therefore, encryption of sent and received data is a reliable way to prevent data theft.

Understand and follow the cyber security protocols established by schools

Invest time and effort in understanding the cybersecurity protocols developed in schools. Follow these rules every day to stay safe.

Record data

It is very important to secure students’ data to prevent cybercriminals from getting their hands on it. Hackers can steal data and use it to maliciously attack people or hold an institution to ransom.

Correct password management

It is advisable to choose a password that is not your nickname or date of birth. The password is alphanumeric, with a combination of upper and lower case letters.

Cyber threats to pupils and parents online

Parents have been forced to have their children take online courses because of pandemics. The frequency of cyber attacks against children is alarming. Once children are exposed to the Internet, it becomes difficult to understand what they are seeing, what videos they are watching, and who they are interacting with. Common cyber attacks targeting young children include:

Cyberthief

The cybercriminal plans to contact young children to cause emotional and financial harm. Abusers take advantage of children’s innocence and immaturity and can persuade them to meet people they don’t yet know. According to Cybertip, the number of reports of child exploitation in Canada has increased by 81% since the beginning of the pandemic.

Malware

Cybercriminals send disguised emails or messages and trick users into downloading malware to control their devices. You can disguise the message as games or applications to entice children to click on it.

Harmful advertising

Advertising is used to distribute unsolicited messages or spam. The researchers point out that they have come across disturbing advertising techniques that use shaming and manipulation.

Identity theft

Cybercriminals are targeting children to steal their identities and credit ratings. As a result of identity theft, families suffer financial losses.

Online Games

Because of the pandemic, the children had to stay home most of the time. Children are exposed to video games much more than they used to be. As more and more time is spent playing video games, cybercriminals are more likely to use phishing scams, viruses and psychological trauma at the hands of malicious characters.

Cyber safety tips for parents and children

Distance learning to take the driver’s place in your daily life. Parents should know the safety protocols and teach them to their children.

Use passwords and be careful about privacy

Children should be educated about the use of passwords and that they should keep them secret and not share them with anyone. Children should also learn to make up strong passwords.

Regular monitoring and communication

Children who use the Internet should be supervised at first until they know how to behave online and learn to control themselves. Parents can monitor their children’s online activities.

Identity and location must be protected

Let the child know that you are not allowed to share his name, age, school, phone number and other information online. Disable geolocation on your iPhone or Android phone.

Always use a secure network

Make sure your home Wi-Fi connection is encrypted with a strong password and access is restricted for outsiders.

Introduction of parental controls

As distance learning is provided for children from the age of 7, it has become necessary to use the parental control available on the computer. These options allow parents to monitor their child’s visit to unwanted sites.

Supplement

Cybercriminals are using new technologies to exploit vulnerabilities in schools, teachers, parents and children. They know how to use technology and use it maliciously to make quick money and hurt people emotionally and otherwise. They may be lurking on a street corner or they may be people you meet in a park, supermarket or coffee shop. You can use social media platforms to collect and hack the necessary information. So we had to be aware of who we were sharing our photos and information with. Parents or teachers can be better informed and equipped by participating in a cybersecurity certification program. This will be a wise investment of time and money as remote work and training will be part of life in the future. Teens can learn more about cybersecurity courses at Stanford. This will not only give them the opportunity to protect themselves, but also to make a career choice. Now you need to know about cyber security threats and how to protect yourself.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should students learn about cyber security?

The purpose of this blog post is to discuss the importance of cyber security in universities. I will start off by providing my opinion as a student in University of Lagos. I consider myself lucky because I have the opportunity to learn things that many do not have the chance to learn. I am currently taking a Cyber Security and Telecommunication course in University of Lagos, and I believe that I am fortunate to have the opportunity to learn the things I am learning. In the current age of digital technology, the Internet has become more than just a conduit for electronic communication. It has become a vital tool in our education and work-force. The Internet has turned itself into a global network, with tremendous influence on the world economy. It is estimated that by the year 2035, the world’s Internet will be 10 times the size it is today.

How do you teach cyber security to students?

Cybersecurity is not only important to businesses, it is also important to students and teachers. As an education technology, teachcybersecurity provides students and teachers with the knowledge necessary to navigate the cyber world. By providing real-world cybersecurity lessons with strategies, tools, and resources, teachcybersecurity educates students in order to help them realize that their online security can be a critical component to their educational experience. Cybersecurity is a growing field. The number of cyber attacks on businesses and individuals is increasing at a steady rate. There are several reasons for this: advances in technology, the rapid rise of social media, and the existence of bots which can interact with websites and perform malicious actions.

What is cyber education?

Today’s education world is one that is increasingly connected and digital. In fact, more than 50% of educators now use social media in teaching and learning, and the global digital learning landscape continues to expand. In this environment, cyber vulnerabilities have become a serious concern for school and education. When it comes to online learning, the question is not whether it should be secure, but rather, how to make it secure. Cyber-attacks have increased by over 100% in the last three years. We have all seen the headlines: the recent attacks on Twitter, GitHub, and Parse, to name a few. So, how do we handle this? Simply put, education is a major target for cyber criminals.

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