How to handle personal data of students

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School districts are constantly being targeted by cyber attacks, leading to data breaches and information misuse. So, to those who are worried about the privacy of student info, here are some tips to protect it from prying eyes.

1.) Categorization of data is important in such scenarios and that can be done through data classification where private data like Personally Identifiable Information(PII) can be protected with more security measures than the stuff that don’t need them.

2.) Deletion of old records is also vital as it helps in cutting down the attack surface to minimize privacy risks.

3.) Keeping a tab on file sharing practices is vital because often we see a wide variety of data being shared among pupils, staff, and administrative employees. What if all the data is available to share with everyone and if in case, any vital info spills mistakenly to an unauthorized person? So, better keep the sharing policies and practices ready that prohibit everything being shared with anyone.

4.) Sensitive info should always be encrypted, as it helps to prevent data spillage while being stored and transmitted. So, if unfortunately, the information gets shared or accessed by any unauthorized person, they cannot read it without decryption and that’s going to earn a brownie for sure.

5.) Following basic cybersecurity hygiene by students and staff while sharing the data is also important, as it avoids being targeted by phishing scams or other type of social engineering attacks. This also implies while abiding by the FERPA rules when implementing online education programs via the Internet or mobile apps.

6.) It is important for a school district or an educational institute to go for a 3rd party data auditing at least once in 3 or 6 months time frame. As it helps in keeping sensitive data safe from any kind of digital invasions.

 

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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