According to IBM’s  “2014 Cyber Security Intelligence Index,” human error is a factor in 95% of all data security incidents. Many of those are avoidable mistakes that could be minimized with training, so that all staff are aware of the importance of not having an easy-to-guess password, know to double-check emails when sending attachments to ensure that the right data are sent, how to recognize whether an email has a potentially malicious link, and what to do if a device with sensitive information is lost.

It is important to ensure that anyone who handles data knows how to protect that data, but also has a more detailed understanding of how to use – or not use – that data.

New education technology has also caused privacy problems for districts and schools. For example, most people just press “yes” when they download an app to their tablet without reading the terms of service. However, when a teacher is the one downloading that app to his or her students’ tablets, it is vital that he or she know what information is being collected by that app and how that information will be used, stored, and shared. Through training, teachers can learn to recognize these potential privacy hazards – or know when they need to talk to an administrator to see if a particular app is safe to use.

So what do teachers need to know, and what resources are available for training?

Generally, teachers don’t need to know the complexities of state or federal privacy laws, or complicated data governance procedures.  In order to avoid the most common data privacy and security incidents, they need to know:

  • Basic internet and computer safety procedures;
  • How to use data to help students;
  • The dangers of unintentional student data disclosure; and
  • How to use apps safely.

More and more states, districts, and organizations are creating training resources that can be used by your district:

Student Privacy For K-12 Educators and Administrators Playlist (iKeepSafe)

Do you have training resources we should feature or link to? Email them to