Why Is Knowledge Safety So Necessary?
Why is data protection so important?
When implementing new technologies to collect sensitive data, the GDPR must identify and mitigate all risks that could lead to misuse of personal data. These evaluations are particularly necessary when dealing with particularly sensitive child data.
Failure to protect sensitive data can create serious financial and legal problems. It can also damage your reputation and question your ethics. Privacy is by no means a new topic for education providers, but they now have to deal with a whole host of new topics that are unique to the new way of learning online, usually with limited time and resources.
Save more data than before
One of the biggest privacy issues educational institutions face during the pandemic is the sheer volume of data they need to stay protected. When you move to remote learning, you save more data than ever before.
Unlike in the usual physical environment, online learning is unique in that all interactions between teachers and students, teachers and parents, and between students leave a digital trail and are stored for a certain period of time.
This introduces a whole new level of data protection problems and monitoring possibilities, which means more responsibility to ensure adequate data protection guidelines and to ensure that the collected data is not misused.
Cyber attacks are a serious problem
Unfortunately, cyber attacks are far too common in the education sector. A 2017 VMware survey  suggests that every third university in the UK is hit by a cyber attack every hour and 87% of respondents say they have experienced at least one successful cyber attack.
The K-12 Cyber Incident Map, which tracks publicly disclosed cybersecurity incidents in U.S. K-12 public schools, reports that there have been over a thousand incidents in the past four years alone.
Unsurprisingly, the situation deteriorated even further during the pandemic. A current Emsisoft report  shows that the number of successful ransomware attacks in the education sector increased by 388% between Q2 and Q3 2020. These numbers show how often cybersecurity incidents can occur that can compromise sensitive data.
Recommended course of action
Risk assessment and data classification
Some of the first and most fundamental steps in a data protection plan are risk assessment and data classification. Before devising privacy strategies, it is important to understand what types of data you are collecting and how sensitive they are. As soon as you have an overview of all your data, you can classify it according to various sensitivity and protection requirements. This way, you can focus on providing the highest level of protection for your most sensitive data and avoiding legal or ethical problems that can result from inadequate data processing.
Retention Policy and Data Archiving
Another factor to consider when it comes to data protection is how long sensitive data is kept. For example, if all communications are online, you will need to keep email records for a period of time. According to FERPA requirements, email retention policies in the education sector should be at least 5 years.
The best way to ensure that your email policy is properly implemented is to get an email archiving solution. This allows you to keep track of all communications records and ensure that they are kept in a secure, tamper-proof repository long enough. You can also automate the retention of emails and choose to automatically delete emails after a certain period of time.
In addition, these solutions can also act as a surveillance system and help you keep track of the conversations by setting up keyword triggers that can help you prevent undesirable behaviors such as bullying and harassment.
Choosing the right platform
While some education providers use special learning platforms, others have chosen widely used communication software to get in touch with their students. However, this is not a good option as these platforms do not provide adequate protection and can leave your students’ sensitive data vulnerable.
No matter how sophisticated the platform you use, it contains a significant amount of sensitive data, from messages between teachers and students, to parent communication, to audio and video recordings of the classes.
For this reason, it is important to choose an online learning platform with appropriate security measures to protect your sensitive data. Unfortunately, platforms that offer functions for virtual conferencing, but are not specifically designed for the education sector, lack data protection standards for children. Therefore, opting for dedicated, private virtual software is a far better option.
Be transparent and keep everyone in the loop
Education providers usually already have a data protection policy that covers normal data processing. You should include a section that clearly defines what personal information is collected through online learning platforms and explains what you will use it for, where it is stored and how long you will keep it.
 Privacy and Cybersecurity in Education: An Ongoing Struggle
 Ransomware spikes in the education sector in Q3 as attackers patiently wait for the school year to start
 10 Cybersecurity In Education Statistics You Should Know About