Emerging Privacy Issues in Online Learning

Amid recent developments and resultant circumstances posed by the pandemic in 2020, many schools and institutions are planning to switch and others have already switched to online learning, teaching, conferencing and meetings, this which has led to an increase in the number of users of conferencing platforms like Zoom and Google. to meet.

For the already thriving online conferencing platforms, which are currently experiencing a meteoric trend of increasing downloads, usage and share price, there is need to worry more about privacy issues, security of learning and a possible breach of private data that has prompted some universities abroad and in Nigeria to try to create their own platforms in an effort to protect their students’ data.

This article tries to educate users of online conferencing platforms, especially students who have no choice but to use these apps and platforms, and teachers who don’t know how to protect their students’ data. , on the advice necessary to protect their personal data and privacy.

Increased risk of data breach

No doubt 2020 has been a turbulent year that forced people in and had to adapt to the circumstances they faced resulting in remote learning and remote meetings. And, as the number of hours spent in front of the screen increased, the amount of private data left online also increased; the most vulnerable in this group are young students and students of various ages.

Given this fact, it is imperative and logical to ask what can be done to protect the data of young people and learner members of society as well as to introduce them to safe online security practices. The question then becomes “how to secure personal data and privacy in e-learning”?

How do online data leaks

Understanding a little about how personal data works online can certainly help in understanding how that data can be stolen and manipulated. Search engines, websites, apps, and platforms all collect different data points.

And, while some only do this with websites that have been visited before and perhaps local analysis of cookie deposits, others may also collect data about what is typed, what our photos are. and videos collect, and possibly, although very unlikely, biometric information about voice and facial features once the camera is turned on. That’s enough to make anyone suspicious, let alone a worried parent.

Although this data left online may not be attributed to a real person, sometimes even the amount of this data makes it difficult to analyze, but this does not exclude the fact that although the identity of users may be initially protected, it gradually becomes useless to violate it.

How to secure personal data

With the creation and operation of algorithms that now hold the power to predict behaviors and suggest personalized content based on interests and interactions “dressed in similar logos and buttons”, we are currently at its mercy, therefore , what steps can be taken to secure personal data and establish learning security?

These are some of the few examples of data protection e-learning that can be implemented.

Check with the school or university

Most schools are required to protect the privacy of students and pupils to some degree. The problem is that online security is developing so rapidly that regulations may not be able to keep pace as it can take months to introduce even the simplest changes.

It is very important to discuss with school representatives the type of protection provided by the server and the type of data it stores.

Also read: Google removes 17 apps from the Play Store for copying users’ phone numbers

Get to know your own computer

Regularly clearing cookies is not something most people do. Yet a few simple clicks can delete a lot of private data from your own device and make any future attacks on your data less effective. Installing working antivirus software with a good privacy protection plug-in is essential for learning online security, as is a firewall, which should be enabled at all times.

Another thing to check is the terms of service of the apps used to access and learn online. You can find them online and usually from the program or application itself. Take your time going through this long document and be prepared to contact the school if you notice anything suspicious. Being able to react preemptively can save you a lot of headaches later.

Get to know your web pages

Knowing that the pages you visit are safe is a breeze, but can save you tons of hassle later. Always check the padlock sign in your browser’s address bar. A locked or green padlock means the connection is secure. Additionally, you can use a free plagiarism checker to check if a similar (or identical) website exists. Simply copy-paste the entire page and see the results.

Have two emails

Using multiple emails is nothing new. However, this old trick is perfect if you want to segment areas of your life online. Many busy students use email outside of their university-assigned email address. They can use a reliable paper writing service, and leaving traces on college email can lead to many problems. Even if you use this service for simple study notes, it is better to maintain your privacy.

In the new era of e-learning, security should be a top priority and addressed importantly. Around the world, app developers need to invest in educating their app users, especially student-friendly apps that tend to present complexities in manual data protection by their youngsters.

Inspired by Donald Fomby (@don_fom)

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