Achieving Digital Security

Definition

The convenience of digital technology offers a wide array of benefits and risks. Educators, parents, and students should understand both the positive and negative potential of digital devices in order to take full advantage of the technology.

For example, storing important information (e.g. phone numbers, health information, etc.) in a way that allows you to access it at any time provides convenience but will also put users at risk if confidential information is accessed at the wrong time, by the wrong people, or if the device is misplaced: one in six Americans is a victim of identify theft every year.(1)

Schools must take a whole school approach, working with students and parents, to achieve digital security for everyone within the school. A security breach is likely when faculty or staff are not fully educated on their important role in maintaining security, and over 75 percent of educators have received fewer than six hours of professional development on cybersecurity or other cyber issues over the past year. (2)

What can schools do to achieve digital security?

Educators are responsible for protecting student data, maintaining secure networks, filtering and monitoring any access shared by students. Policies should be aligned with state and federal laws:

CIPA, HIPPA, FRCP 34 (archiving), Individual State Laws, FERPA, NCIPA, Special Education Laws, COPPA, Broadband Act -Protecting Students for 21st Century.

Network administrators must keep current on the security needs for technology within the school, including: configuration testing, monitoring, and updating of all systems, including computers, servers, and networks. They also are responsible for:
1. Data backup
2. Personal devices connecting to the network
3. Logging and log analysis
4. Antivirus and spyware suppression
5. Filtering, patching, and firewalls
6. Documentation of systems
7. Appropriate user access
8. Crisis preparation

What can youth do to achieve digital security?

To maximize the benefits of technology and minimize the risks, youth must protect the digital devices that they own or use. Some of the important steps youth can take to take advantage of the resources they have invested money and time are:

-Secure their digital devices. Keep track of it at all times or place it in secure a location.

-Secure the data. Use good passwords, and do not share them with anyone (except parents or guardians). According to a new analysis, “one out of five web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat: they choose a simple, easily guessed password like ‘abc123,’ ‘iloveyou’ or even ‘password’ to protect their data (3). To create a more creative password, mix letters, numbers and even symbols.

-Back up data. Microsoft research showed that nine out of ten owners do not regularly back up their files (4). Backup gives you security in case your computer malfunctions, or in case something happens to the computer itself.

Have a conversation

Here are some questions to help students and faculty/staff consider their digital security:

1. Do you password protect your phone?
2. How secure are the passwords on your phone, laptop, PC? What about your passwords for facebook, email. iTunes? How many people know your passwords?
3. Do you ever leave your computer/laptop open in class while you attend to something else? What are the risks of doing this? How can you avoid those risks?


RELATED ISSUES
passwords, personal information, identity theft, phishing, social engineering, spyware, adware, malware, trojans, virus, filters, user accounts, credit card fraud, firewalls, data backup, patching, password guessing

RESOURCES AND LINKS
* Schwartz, John."When Computers Attack." New York Times. 24 June 2007.
* Tips about teen online responsibility from MTV at http://www.athinline.org/"

WORKS CITED:
1. Heard, Jermaine. "2008 Identity Theft Statistics and Several Ways to Prevent Identity Theft." Retrieved 1 February 2010 at http://ezinearticles.com/?2008-Identity-Theft-Statistics-and-Several-Ways-to-Prevent-Identity-Theft&id=1385242

2. “The 2010 State of K-12 Cyberethics, Cybersafety and Cybersecurity Curriculum in the U.S Survey.” National Cyber Security Alliace. Retrieved 2 February, 2010 from http://staysafeonline.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=67&item=50.

3.Vance, Ashlee. New York Times. (2010, January 20). If Your Password is 123456, Just Make it HackMe. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/technology/21password.html

4. Pogue, David. New York Times. (2006, June 29). A Microsoft Safety Package. Grit Your Teeth. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/29/technology/29pogue.html

Prevention

Document C3 Framework: Promoting Responsible Use This document points out that school policies and instruction often do not include all Cyberethics, Cybersafety, and Cybersecurity (C3) topics. In some cases this causes schools to miss the mark when it comes to C3 issues and how they correlate with human behavior. It goes in depth about C3 issues to help readers better understand this topic.

URL Faux Paw Curriculum Faux Paw the Websurfing Techno Cat series has been created by a team of leading child psychologists, educators, and law enforcement. This engaging curriculum—complete with books, animated DVDs, and lesson plans—will captivate the attention of your students and teach them how to appropriately conduct themselves online and in the digital space. Take advantage of these proven and valuable assets in your classroom today.

Detection & Intervention

URL Facebook: Security Department/ Custodian of Records Designed for law enforcement, the site provides the contact info for Facebook-- specifically regarding subpoena requests.

URL Faux Paw Curriculum Faux Paw the Websurfing Techno Cat series has been created by a team of leading child psychologists, educators, and law enforcement. This engaging curriculum—complete with books, animated DVDs, and lesson plans—will captivate the attention of your students and teach them how to appropriately conduct themselves online and in the digital space. Take advantage of these proven and valuable assets in your classroom today.

Incident Management & Response

URL Faux Paw Curriculum Faux Paw the Websurfing Techno Cat series has been created by a team of leading child psychologists, educators, and law enforcement. This engaging curriculum—complete with books, animated DVDs, and lesson plans—will captivate the attention of your students and teach them how to appropriately conduct themselves online and in the digital space. Take advantage of these proven and valuable assets in your classroom today.