Essential questions to ask your school management software
For decades, school records were stored in files and cabinets, that were then kept safe under lock and key. In the present age, as schools migrate all their student information to online clouds, it is essential that educational institutes look beyond the traditional forms of data security and upgrade their systems to suit their online transformation.
But why is data security important for a school management software?
This is especially important, as, over the past few years, educators and parents all over the world have become aware of the possibility of data security breaches that may be possible in a school scenario. For instance, intruders through a remote attacker can gather a variety of personal information about the students – from their names, date of birth, performance details, exam marks, personal health information, home address etc to financial information of the parents along with the bank account details used for paying the fees. Not only students but even the personal information of the teachers and the staff can be at risk if not protected well by the online school management system.
By hacking on the unencrypted network messages, intruders could have gathered the most intimate details of the students, teachers, parents, and gain access and links to all their personal information.
To avoid this, it is important to ensure that schools protect the educational records, academic performance and all other personal information of students in their school.
Very often parents and students lack the technical background to evaluate the security of the apps or the cloud-based online school management system used by the schools, hence, we have compiled a list of questions that parents could ask to ensure that school management software take student’s data security seriously.
1. What information should be collected?
This is one of the most important questions to ask a school about student data. While the collection of data is inevitable and essential, one should be aware of the data collected by the school management software and how this data will be used.
2. Do you have a document of policies and security guideline related to data security?
It is important that schools create a policy related to data security and that strict guidelines regarding the same are put in place.
3. Who has access to the data and information?
This is another important question to ask and find out who has access to the information related to the data and if it is essential to have access to all your information. Once reviewed you can ask for your personal data to the protected from a certain audience.
4. Is the essential data encrypted?
Encrypting data is important especially if the online school management system also stores the financial information of the students.
Encryption keeps certain data safe by changing the text into unreadable data, and thus if an errant employee or cybercriminal would get access to the system he would not have the special keys to un-encrypt the information.
5. How often are the networks monitored?
Monitoring the networks on online school management software regularly enforces rules about network routers, switches and firewalls thus ensuring that the school is mindful about network security at all time and monitors them on a regular basis.
6. Are the students taught digital citizenship?
Digital citizenship teaches children the ABC of data security and guides them on the way to navigate search engines, evaluate online sources for credibility and be aware of the information or the data that they are sharing online.