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Hackers in the classroom

Image: Adobe Stock / Connect world

With back-to-school season upon us, this year, hackers can (and will) infiltrate your child’s classroom if the necessary precautions aren’t taken.

Internet-connected classrooms have transformed the learning process in schools all over the United Kingdom. But it’s also given rise to new dangerous online threats. Much like other public Wi-Fi networks, school Wi-Fi might be vulnerable to hackers.

There are a few recorded cases of hackers and other shady internet personas getting into a school’s Wi-Fi network. In such a case, hackers may be able to access student devices and get hold of their photos, documents, and other sensitive data. They may also get in contact with the students.

“The truth is that public Wi-Fi networks are usually so unsecure that even a seven-year-old kid with an interest in tech can hack them,” said Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “School Wi-Fi networks are no exception. Loads of online tutorials provide tips on how to do that.”

In 2015, a seven-year-old girl from London showed how easy it is to break into a public Wi-Fi network. It took her less than 11 minutes to infiltrate the hotspot by setting up a rogue access point. Hackers frequently use this technique to activate a ‘man in the middle’ attack and begin eavesdropping on the traffic.

There are approximately 32,000 schools in the United Kingdom, and almost all of them have Wi-Fi networks. The problem is that the authorities usually have very few ways of knowing if and who is hacking them. That’s unless the cyber criminals are caught using student data or other information.

According to NordVPN’s expert, it might be a good idea to bring up the question of Wi-Fi security at school.

Another step is getting a virtual private network (VPN) for your kid. A VPN, like NordVPN, is an encrypted tunnel between the Wi-Fi network and a child’s device. Most importantly, you should talk to kids and help them understand online security threats and the importance of digital privacy.

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