Tips to Prevent Student Hacker’s Entry Into School Computers

Posted on August 5, 2012 by Nikhil P Naik

Most high school principals agree that today’s students are extremely tech savvy and that many use this talent for playing mischief such as – logging in as admin, changing their and their friends’ grades, changing attendance records, infecting computers with malware, posting pornography or controversial videos and photos or articles, gaining access to question papers before tests and exams and hacking into secure areas of the school’s computer system.

Nearly every week there are reports of such incidents from different parts of the country. This has certainly prompted schools to take corrective action with respect to their network security, apart from maintaining transparent and communicative relationships with students.

Hacking College SystemsAccording to James Culbert, an analyst of information security for Duval County schools in Jacksonville, Florida, schools are ‘uniquely vulnerable’ because there are thousands of would be hackers on a system that stores HR and student information systems.

It is not possible to achieve overnight results or with a onetime fix. This has to be a continuous process that needs to keep pace with the fertile minds of young adults.

Some of the things that schools could take care of to prevent student hacking are:

  • Keep networks separate for students, and teachers and admin officials
  • Have good and reliable security software that is auto updated frequently, and ensure passwords are strong and uncommon. Set up firewalls and anti spyware software on the whole system.
  • Have clearly defined policies about what students are allowed to do on school computers, and make sure that students and parents know what is acceptable.
  • Inform students and parents about the consequences of misuse and policy violation or hacking; and these needs to be done at periodic intervals so that it’s sure to stay in their heads.
  • Use the content filter software, like CompuGuardian to check if any students have violated the ‘acceptable use’ policy.
  • The offenders should be dealt with firmly. Make them understand that you were serious when you talked about violation of rules.
  • Enable time-stamping of accounts; this will let teachers know immediately if their accounts have been tampered with.
  • Educate students about the need to be vigilant regarding internet safety, and being responsible about using the internet. They should know that they could face expulsion and even criminal charges for hacking into the school’s computers.

Schools would also do well to remember that students also need protection online, and sometimes from their own schoolmates; and they would need to take steps to completely hacker-proof their computer system.

Indeed modern technology especially computers and gadgets have made man’s life easy and efficient. Yet we can’t deny the fact that is the same thing that also gives the idea of making advancements and bad opportunities for others. Like hacking and other things considered as bad technological netiquette that should have been prevented and avoided. Let us not forget that technology is man made itself and surely man will also be the reason of its destruction.

About the Author: This is a guest post by Ron Schiff of xfinityonline, a site that offers savings and current information on comcast xfinity, as well as services.

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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