Digital Security In The Education Sphere
Governments are creating frameworks to protect the privacy of individuals and ensure freedom of expression.
Technology as a tool acts as an enabler to improve the processes, hence improving the outcomes. Every industry in this world is impacted by it and education is no exception. However, it has its challenges. The race to go digital has diluted the security. With the proliferation of smartphones, lower data costs especially in India and pandemic setting in, the issue has been aggravated. According to a Data Security Council of India report, the number of cybercrime incidents has tripled during the COVID year 2020.
Education no exception
With greater use of connected devices in education, where most of the user group is young children and teenagers, who do not understand the data security and privacy issues, cybercrime poses an even greater risk. The parents of the children too, who have no experience in operating laptops and smartphones, are unable to differentiate between a malicious link and a genuine link. Hence, they are more prone to data theft, banking fraud and other cybercrimes. It’s an irony that children, who have the computer as a subject, are directly learning it via practical demonstration. But they are not taught how to use their computer safely.
While most of the applications used in the education industry come with built-in cyber-defence tools such as anti-virus applications, firewalls, parental lock systems, speech detection tools, OTP (One-time passwords) and a few advanced AI tools such as Amazon Rekognition, but their efficacy is purely dependent on the usage pattern of the user. If the user, here in our case the young children and non-digital savvy parents, are not aware of their importance and do not know how to use it then they are just like the swords in the scabbard. Their existence has no meaning.
Data breach from service providers
The other issue is the data usage by the service provider companies as well. In the quest to provide security to the messages, transactions and devices, they are themselves keeping surveillance on the user’s activity. They use inbuilt device features and applications to collect a huge amount of user data which is scrutinized for any malicious activity to protect the user. But, since the data has already been passed out to the service provider or the device manufacturer, the privacy is gone.
It has been observed many a time that the user data leakage happened through the data servers of the service providers only. For example, a large number of credit card details are sold on the dark web, are stolen from the service provider companies and not directly from the user.
Hence, the privacy of the user is prone to be hacked from the databases companies providing the services.
No free lunch
Any premium service has its own cost and is valid for digital services in the Education sector too. Premium services of the leading education application providers offer higher security and privacy and content without enticing advertisements, but these are subscription-based and often beyond the capacity
of the parents or smaller schools. The dilemma of high cost for security or improved user experience vs freedom of speech/expression is again a hindrance in imparting online education.
Across the world, governments are creating frameworks to protect the privacy of individuals and ensure freedom of expression. In India too, we have an IT act and other rules which guide the service providers to take adequate measures to safeguard user’s data, but due to the ‘Black Bean in the Broth’, which may be one of the users that makes the digital world vulnerable.
Prevention is better than cure
Preventing cybercrime is far better than cribbing when the data or money is lost and the damage is already done. It can be pursued at two ends. First at the service provider’s end and second at the user’s end.
The service provider must be sensitive enough to ensure that the content they are offering does not have external hyperlinks to malicious sites and are not encouraging advertisement content. They must have a robust data collection and protection system which is secured by relevant firewalls. Also, they should not have intentions to misuse the data collected.
On the other hand, the user must be made aware of the new age cybercrimes and should be warned for clicking on such links.
At Inkclick, we have a very strong and robust cybersecurity architecture provided by some of the best companies, as we are aware that we deal with children, parents and teachers. Its easy-to-use interface is navigable for even people with low digital education. We have various systems in place to check the content uploaded by the contributors.
Additionally, we keep our user’s data secure with the best data servers from leading tech organizations to avoid any kind of data theft from our systems.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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