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Privacy For Students

By J.Austine
Privacy For Students

When talking about privacy for students, schools are adopting the use of surveillance technology to monitor students' activities. The software spies on students when in school, their conduct on social media platforms, and even when home. Most of the surveillance products and services are advertised to schools by manufacturers to help in keeping students safe.

Privacy For Students

When talking about privacy for students, schools are adopting the use of surveillance technology to monitor students' activities. The software spies on students when in school, their conduct on social media platforms, and even when home. Most of the surveillance products and services are advertised to schools by manufacturers to help in keeping students safe.
However, there’s no proof that the products protect students. Worse of all is in situations where the products and services harm the students that they should protect. But the current happenings of the world require surveillance.
Even though surveillance is not normal because it's more of spying, there's a need to weigh why you're using it. This is so since schools incorporating technology to monitor and track the movement of students violate their privacy. In fact, a student who is spied on by the technologies should be concerned about their wellbeing.

Techniques Used to Overrun Privacies

Not all the technologies in use by schools to surveil students have the required capabilities. However, all of them can track student moves and capture data through various techniques. Here are some of the techniques schools are incorporating in their operations.

Types of Data Tracked

Location data – Schools track student's location by using GPS coordinates, contactless chips, Wi-Fi connections on their devices when in and out of school. The data is used for automating attendance tracking like class tardiness, bus riding, and conveying consequences like detention.
Audiovisual data – This involves video, images, and audio of students when at school.
Web Browsing Data – This is data captured by monitoring students' browsing history to record everything they do online.
Device Usage – Usually, some invasive software captures and keeps a record of every activity you do online. This might be anytime you're using your phone or laptop. Even when you delete some files you type, it tracks everything. The invasive software gets track of all your internet searches, social media posts, and messages you send through messaging applications. It's even worse if you log into sites that you require to sign with emails and passwords. The software will keep the records for malicious purposes.

Types of Technology Used for Tracking

Spyware or Stalkerware – This is an app installed on your device by a hacker to spy on your phone or laptop activities. Often, the person has complete control the device and can access all files, text messages, social media platforms, and email. In addition, it can scan your location, contacts, browser history, and call/text logs.
Surveillance Cameras – Schools install surveillance cameras to help them identify and track all students' movement in buildings and outdoors. Besides, the camera has face recognition capabilities to identify an individual student.
Microphones – The school can install microphones at various points in the school compound. The microphones can be equipped with specific softwares. These help record and analyze sounds in the school to detect stress and aggression from students.
Social Media Monitoring – This is a service that monitors a student’s social media account(s) then reports all flagged content to the administration. This service helps in mapping the student’s friends, where they spend time, and maybe topics they discuss.

Other two include:

Internet Monitoring and Filtering – School administrators can control Wi-Fi by viewing what students browse on a daily basis. And in extreme block some websites like social media accounts to regulate students browsing. A student may be required to install a security certificate that enables the school administrators to decrypt all encrypted information. When student installs the certificate, the administrator will access everything students type or read in their browsers when using the Wi-Fi. Besides, they can access messages sent to other people or even sensitive passwords.
Email and Document Scanning – Some service providers integrate with other productivity tools for students to use in completing assignments and for communication purposes. The integrations use filters to scan all contents students write in services like Google for Education - G-Suite, and even Microsoft's Office 365. In some instances, the services scan email attachments like images or PDFs.
Most of the services and technologies listed have access to susceptible data that, when leaked, can harm a student. Once the school has the data, they store it for their use. But it's important if they have additional security for the data. This is so because malicious people get in touch with it; it can be sold to third parties in the dark market.

What To Do About Your Privacy

You can never dispute the school’s good intention to protect and monitor students. However, ensure the student does the following for additional security.
Understand ways the surveillance is affecting you
Before you think of how to address a school surveillance program, know how it affects you and the people surrounding you. If you view it on the negative side, devise a way to combat it. It doesn't have to be the use of fancy tools or something but avoiding systems targeted by the surveillance. Or reveal just the required information when navigating through the systems.

Talk about the surveillance.

Talking out at times helps in a significant way. Share with friends, trusted adults and reach the school through a collective voice on the problems encounter with the surveillance.
You can air out your concerns on what is affecting your privacy. Ask other people about your grievances and listen to their take before reaching the school administrator. If time is due to face the administration, it's good to let them think of what you feel.  Talk to them and negotiate what is suitable for the school and the students.

Minimize trackable data

Top-priority of surveillance is to fetch much information from you – habits, places you visit, people you associate with, and everything about you. Consider using the strategies listed below to protect your privacy when browsing.
Lock your identity when online. Reset your social media accounts to private from the public in order to protect yourself on social media.

Last thing to do about your privacy

Enable 2FA – two-factor authentication.

Turn Off Location Tracking when not in use.
Ensure you are aware of risks present in personal and school environments. Be wary about what you key on your device when using the school network. Keep your logins and web browser data safe if you don't want the school to track outside the school.
Employ good digital security practices like encrypting your devices, having a password manager, and many more.




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