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  • Dominico Nenwadudu

Cybersecurity

Email and WhatsApp are the preferred forms of communication at DSL. The average student receives about 20 messages per hour after school. With ransomware released once every 11 seconds, and 12 in every 100 messages containing malware; opening an unknown chat or an email from outside the school could be disastrous as it could release malware that gives cybercriminals a backdoor into your school’s digital network.

Weak passwords could lead to your personal data being stolen or corrupted. An online survey reported that most online users use the same passwords for all their social media accounts. Repetitive passwords that use personal information, such as a nickname or street address, or the name of a favourite pet or footballer, are a problem. Cybercriminals have programs that mine public profiles for potential password combinations and use these to gain access to users’ accounts. Cybercriminals also use dictionary attacks that automatically try different words from a dictionary until the password is cracked.

Software companies periodically release security updates for software. On the iPad, DSL students are left to choose whether to update the software, but likely say no to updates when they're in the middle of a project, since many updates force them to close programs or restart the iPad. The school should make it obligatory to centrally deploy antivirus and endpoint detection software with automatic updates on IPAD devices that access school information.

The increased use of mobile phones on the go as part of flexible working conditions, is leading to more sophisticated attacks and data breaches; particularly from malicious mobile apps appearing in legitimate online application stores. To combat this, students should have access to online mobile devices courses where they learn how to avoid mobile phone risks without needing high-cost security programs. Mobile devices containing sensitive information should be password-protected and encrypted to prevent access in the event the device is lost or stolen. The safe use of personal devices is necessary training for any students who work on their own devices.

We all share large parts of our lives on social media from holidays to events and project work. But oversharing can lead to sensitive information being available; making it easy for a malicious actor to pose as a trusted source and access the information. Educating students on configuring privacy settings of their social media accounts can help prevent unauthorised access to their personal sensitive information and school public information.

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