Understanding How School Data Security is Related to School Safety

The digital era has its positives and negatives toward school safety, but what we can agree upon is that school data security is now an issue across the United States and around the world. Technology has helped skyrocket school campus security but has also left them vulnerable to data breaches and security issues as well. Student safety, whether digital or physical is a school’s number one priority, aside from education. So making sure students, staff, parents, and stakeholders are happy will only ensure your campus to flourish the way it should.

As we read on, we’ll take a look at school data security and how it relates to school safety for students and staff, as well as a few proactive solutions. Understanding the importance of school data security is pivotal in today’s generation for school campuses because IoT devices are now accessible almost anywhere you go. That is why school campuses need to be a safe haven for students and staff alike, leading into a safe school climate.

Crime watch

In 2015, the Institute of Education Sciences began a study into interactive school crimes. The research methodology was passed through the National Center for Education Statistics. This research was officially published in October 2018 from school victimization which also centered around peer violence. From this research, the concept of creating a safe school climate emerges.

From this rubrics, we were able to classify the risks to students as follows:

  • Physical safety
  • Emotional safety
  • Bullying/Cyberbullying

User-generated threat

A large majority of data breaches come from employee/student error or abuse of computer systems. When this happens, it’s called a user-generated threat.

Typical threats occur when a school employee or student falls for a phishing scam while on the school’s IT system. For example, sensitive information such as email addresses or passwords toward social platforms or other services open the doorway to data breaches and information theft.

To prevent these threats from occurring, you have a few options. Option one is to add more security to your security system, such as wifi passwords, when students and staff connect. This is almost a must for schools, because almost everyone connects to the internet through any of their devices. When you’re able to monitor who is connecting to your servers, you are able document a breadcrumb trail if an incident were to occur. Another option that needs to be enforced is for students to not be able to use their cellular devices while in class. Student should only be able to access their phone during designated times, such as lunch or break, thereby reducing user-generated threats.

Preventing school violence

School violence is never ok and often occurs through peer-to-peer related issues. Whether it’s physical or non-physical bullying, these events need public attention, for the sake of a public understanding of why school violence incidents occur.

Understanding how this violence manifests in the youth population is the beginning of preventing school violence from occurring. This is why as a technology specialist, one has to be on top of who is using the schools system and for what purpose.

Bullying and the online system

Majority of students are online for a multitude of reasons, from social media to acquiring information. Younger grades are monitored more heavily by parental or guardian supervision but there are instances where cyberbullying happens among the younger grades as well. No matter the grade level, as a technology specialist, you need to stay on top of the safety and security of the school and students. For example, students may post a photo of someone that circulates throughout the school through a school device, leading into digital bullying, thus leading into an unhealthy climate for students. This can prevent students from coming back to school, through sheer embarrassment or confrontactions.

As students become older, they will be harder to track. Their schedules are more irregular and independent. So, in this case, being able to track who is utilizing your school systems is crucial to monitoring and regulating online bullying.

CDC research

The Center for Disease Control has issued contemporary research on school-related violent deaths and has been collecting information on school-associated violent deaths since 1992. Keeping a record of these standards will help the data system management teams know what criteria to include in their compliance reports and what to eliminate from the review process.

The study found that these are the criteria of school-related violent deaths:

  • Most violent fatalities happen at the beginning of each semester
  • Nearly half of all perpetrators show signals before acting
  • Violent deaths at school occur in transition periods like assembly, dismissal, or lunchtime
  • Homicide is the second leading cause of death in children ages 5-18. 1-2% of child homicide rates happened at school
  • The CDC qualifies youth suicide as a form of school violence

How school data security supports prevention

Data security supports prevention by providing visible security measures for school management and law enforcement collaboration. This sets up the groundwork for an interactive application of policies or procedures. You want to be able to track from the instant an incident occured to the moment it ended.

Going a step further

Data security also needs to prevent outside threats from occurring. There are a multitude of hackers out there that will steal personal information for their own use. It’s becoming harder and harder to know when your data has been breached, so staying on top of your security system is a must when handling a mass amount of information for a school campus. When a school campus is not secure digitally and physically, parents and stakeholders will lack the trust in a schools ability to prevent measures.

When you are able to detect patterns and track who is utilizing your school system, you’re able to have a clear record of when the incident occurred and how it was solved. We want to be proactive, not reactive with data security.

The ScholarChip solution

ScholarChip is an all-in-one, platform solution to help reduce school threats, whether digital or physical, and address the important issues surrounding school safety. Data from students, faculty, and stakeholder are leveraged to manage school access, attendance, and behavior management through the platform tools to increase safety and promote the campus climate schools are looking for.

To learn more about data security and how ScholarChip can help your school district, reach out for a 1-on-1 strategy session today!.