US Parents Concerned About Student Data Security

Some 87% of US parents are concerned about student data privacy and security in America’s K-12 schools, according to a survey by The Future of Privacy Forum.

Source: Wikimedia

American parents worry that their child’s electronic education records could be hacked or stolen, the study shows. Consequently, 85% of parents said that their willingness to support the use of student data and technology in education must be coupled with efforts to ensure security.

When asked if they are “comfortable with a properly protected electronic education record being created for my child,” 71% replied that they were.

Security has become a vulnerability for the educational environment and some schools have started to embrace the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) or bring-your-own-technology (BYOT) trend by introducing special IT policies and software. But until this becomes the norm, parents voice concerns about potential negative impacts of unrestricted digital connectivity in schools. As seen in the corporate world, without proper IT policies and specific security solutions for laptops, smartphones and tablets, the BYOD trend could have significant safety implications for both the end-user and an organization’s network, as HOTforSecurity has previously noted.

The IT teams in schools are supposed to make sure private information, such as grades, tests, and salaries, is not compromised if a personal device is lost or stolen.

Here is a list of security precautions needed on bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schools, according to Cisco:

  • Protecting the network from malware and intrusion
  • Controlling access to private information such as grades, tests, or payroll records
  • Preventing illegal music and video sharing
  • In K–12, complying with regulations such as the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
  • Accomplishing all of this without adding to the IT team’s workload

The survey was conducted online this spring by Harris Interactive and included 1,002 parents in the United States with children 17 and under.

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