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Cybersecurity: What students need to know about digital dangers

By HT School Web Desk,

Here are the common cyber security challenges that teachers need to educate their students about.

Starting from data theft to malware, there are numerous cyber threats that children need to be aware of.

The youngsters of today haven’t seen a world without digital devices and internet. So, the lives of students nowadays do not just revolve around books, toys and playgrounds. Internet is the buzzword in their vocabulary and laptops and smartphones have become their closer companions than story books and cricket bats. Moreover, with the integration of technology in the current education system and the emergence of virtual classes imposed by COVID-19, their screen time and online presence have increased manifold. Well, there is no denying that internet comes with a lot of perks while it comes to learning. But it has its flip sides too and one of them is cyber threat.  

Broadly speaking, cyber threat is a malicious act that steals and damages important data. Common examples include mobile and computer viruses and hacking of online accounts (email, social media and internet banking for example) among others. The  common sources of cyber threats are: 

  • Nation states or national governments 
  • Terrorists 
  • Industrial spies 
  • Organized crime groups 
  • Hacktivists and hackers 
  • Business competitors 
  • Disgruntled insiders 

As a teacher, you need to make your students aware of common digital threats to ensure their online safety. Here are the common cyber security challenges you need to educate your students about.  

Malware: This is a software that launches attack on a device or system, taking it over and corrupting data. Trojan is a common malware that sneaks into a device or network in the form of a software and then performs malicious tasks. A Tojan attack may crash the whole device. These days, mobile phones are also vulnerable to this digital vice. Malware is mostly embedded in app downloads and text messages. Once it enters the system, important and confidential information get compromied.  

PhishingIt is an email-borne attack which can trick anyone into divulging confidential data. This act leads an email recipient to download a malware by clicking a hyperlink in the message.  

Spear PhishingThis is a more sophisticated version of phishing. In this cyber threat, the attacker gathers information about the victim and impersonates someone he or she trusts.  

Camfecting: In this form of cyber attack, the inbuilt cameras of mobile phone and laptops can be accessed by hackers.  

Data Theft: When data saved on the laptop, servers or mobile gets stolen, it is known as data theft. The intention is to infringe privacy or compromise confidential information. Data can include anything from financial to personal information.  

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