Over the past few years, cyber threats to the safety and security of the student and teacher data contained in online learning systems have escalated. Concurrently changes in community expectations regarding the privacy and security of this personal data have increased. Fortunately, EdAlive has always built eSafety and security right into the very design of our systems however, the rapidly changing environment has required that we add further layers of protection.
Schools and teachers have a duty of care to ensure that students’ data and identities are safe and secure when using online learning systems. With the rise in the cyber security risks schools are finding it increasingly difficult to justify the use of many free and poorly engineered online services as they often do not have adequate eSafety inbuilt.
Right around Australia we are seeing all State and Territory governments together with the agencies of the Commonwealth Government beginning to mandate new cyber security standards. Company Directors are now required to ensure that their operations are safe and secure. The various departments of education are implementing a range of quality control and access restrictions to ensure that the online services that schools are using do not pose a risk to the children in their care. The new ST4S (Safer Technologies 4 Schools) assessment is the highest profile of these programmes.
Consequently, we have had to increase the price of our services to cover the increased cost of implementing these security and privacy upgrades and to cover their ongoing operation.
We’ve also invested in a number of independent certifications that attest the quality, privacy, safety and security of our services including ST4S and kidSAFE Certification.
To counter these cyber threats and to ensure that users’ data is private and secure it has been necessary for us to implement a wide range of operational and system changes. Fortunately, the EdAlive Central systems have been designed with inbuilt safety and security from their inception. Most of the new enhancements have been behind the scenes: we’ve implemented policies and procedures around safe working; changed the way data is stored and transferred; upgraded our backups and implemented a host of other changes.
Implementing these changes has been costly and has increased the ongoing cost base of providing our online learning services. These increases in cost are not unique to EdAlive and are being felt right across the IT industry.
All of the EdAlive Online Learning websites including Typing Tournament Online, Maths Invaders Online, Words Rock Online, Baggin’ the Dragon Maths Online, and Volcanic Panic Reading Success Online have easily met the minimum standards for the new ST4S (Safer Technologies 4 Schools) privacy and security assessment.
EdAlive’s Online Learning websites (Baggin’ the Dragon Maths, Math Invaders, Typing Tournament, Volcanic Panic Reading Success, and Words Rock) are certified by the kidSAFE Seal Program. The kidSAFE Seal Program is an independent safety certification service and seal-of-approval program designed exclusively for children-friendly websites and technologies, including kid-targeted game sites, educational services, virtual worlds, social networks, mobile apps, tablet devices, and other similar interactive services and technologies. Click on the seal or go to www.kidsafeseal.com for more information.