7 Essential Data Protection Tips for Schools

Schools & Education

Data Protection Tips for Schools

Boost your school’s security with VisiPoint’s 7 essential data protection tips for schools!

It’s never been more essential to ensure that your data security procedures are up to scratch and – unfortunately – it’s also never been more daunting. With the sheer amount of potential threats to your online security, privacy and information out there, it can be tricky to know what to prioritise when it comes to cybersecurity.

So, let’s count down 7 of the most vital data protection tips for schools, so you can ensure that your school is not at risk from potential online security threats.

1. Encryption is key

As David Nield of Gizmodo points out, “If your data isn’t encrypted, anyone who happens across your phone or laptop can get at the files within pretty easily; with encryption added, accessing the same data becomes very, very difficult.”

Schools deal with incredibly valuable – and frequently confidential – data on their students, staff, visitors, contractors and more. Because of this, it’s vital that all of that data is stored in a way that minimises the possibility of it being compromised. Encrypting your data is a fantastic way of ensuring that your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

2. Update your systems frequently

Whether it takes the form of replacing your computer hardware, updating your network infrastructure or ensuring your software is patched to the latest version, it’s essential that you keep your systems as up-to-date as you possibly can. Although this can potentially be costly, this is massively outweighed by the multitude of benefits it can provide.

Chief among these benefits is the fact that you’re most likely to be protected against potential security threats.

3. Test for vulnerabilities

Think your security infrastructure is bulletproof? You should probably think again. This is one of the most important data protection tips for schools that you should be following, but a shocking amount of people disregard the need to test their security systems and procedures for vulnerabilities.

In the same way that it’s essential to regularly update your technology and infrastructure, it’s also vital that you regularly review your security practices and systems for potential vulnerabilities. Testing for vulnerabilities such as phishing, malware and DDOS attacks on a regular basis is essential to ensuring that your school is as safe as possible from potential cybersecurity threats.

4. Document everything, and store it safely

So many things happen within a school on a day-to-day basis, and many of these activities require records to be kept. This can become problematic over long periods of time, as papers and folders with previous records begin to pile up and take up significant amounts of storage space within the school.

This also creates an issue when it comes to reviewing previous records. Imagine trying to find one particular record amount a sea of thousands. This is a massively time-consuming process that can be completely avoided by the use of digital data management systems.

Investing in a fully digital data management solution makes all of your records searchable and easy to navigate, saving time and preventing frustration for your staff members.

Looking for more tips on how to keep your school secure? Check out our top 6 school safety tips blog post!

5. Store and manage your sign-in data securely

Sign-in data is a particular pain point for many schools, who find huge quantities of data difficult to store and manage. Schools deal with a huge amount of sign-in data from visitors, pupils, staff, contractors, to name a few. This data can include photos, names, contact details and much more, so it’s vital that it’s stored and managed in the most secure way possible.

A fantastic way to securely store and manage your sign-in data for students, staff visitors and more is with VisiPoint. Our sign-in system stores all data safely and securely on the cloud. This allows those with permission to access the data quickly and easily from any device with a browser and helps to keep it safe from falling into the wrong hands.

6. Train your staff, pupils, and visitors

It may seem obvious that your staff’s cybersecurity training should be up to scratch, and there’s a good chance you’ve already got this covered. What about your pupils, visitors, and contractors?

The learning experience for pupils is becoming, more and more frequently, dependant on their access to the internet. It’s vital, then, that they are as secure as possible. Not only does this involve creating a safe and secure online infrastructure in your school, it also involves educating your pupils on the importance of cybersecurity.

Edutopia has some great resources for teaching young pupils about online safety and security, which you can check out here.

It’s also important to consider the individuals who visit your school, particularly contractors. Are they aware of the importance of cybersecurity? You may want to ask them screening questions before they are allowed on site to ensure that they’re aware of appropriate cybersecurity practices.

7. Back up your important data regularly

No matter how strong your data security measures are, there is always a possibility that your data could be compromised or lost.

This is one of the most important data protection tips for schools, as well as being one of the most straightforward to implement. Backups can be carried out using conventional, encrypted hard drives, tape storage or secure cloud storage  – which is the solution we recommend here at VisiPoint.

We hope you found this list of the top data protection tips for schools helpful in making your school more secure. If you’re looking for a great way to store and manage your sign-in data securely at your school, VisiPoint is ideal! VisiPoint uses secure, encrypted cloud storage to keep your valuable data safe and secure while also providing an excellent sign-in experience for your students, staff, students, contractors and more.

If you’d like to learn more about what VisiPoint can do for your school, head to our Education page or call us on +44 (0) 191 341 0016.