If you’re someone engaged in online learning as a student, your data is at risk. Learn how to protect your personal information to stay safe while learning online.
After COVID-19, online learning has bloomed rapidly. Many institutes that were already online and online learning platforms that were operating before the pandemic have evolved rapidly.
This is natural due to the ever-innovating digital technology. But it does bring with it a host of new risks.
Although online learning has benefits, it has also increased concern regarding personal information. The Internet is never 100% safe — always bear that in mind. Hackers are becoming more intelligent and finding new ways to access private information for malicious purposes.
At FORMA LMS, we are revolutionizing corporate training with our engaging, open-source Learning Management System with key features like diverse content management, multi-branch applications, and open innovation. We take cybersecurity for both our platform and our end-user very seriously — we take a holistic approach to it.
In this article, we'll share our expert advice on how you can upskill and learn online without compromising your security. So, read on.
In This Article
Why Is Online Learning Important?
Tips for Staying Safe While Learning Online
Risks Associated With Online Learning
Why Is Online Learning Important?
Online learning has changed the education industry drastically over the past few decades. It has provided a platform for people of all ages and backgrounds with numerous options to further their knowledge and careers.
Some key reasons why online learning is important:
- Accessibility: It doesn't matter where you live; online learning has made learning accessible for people globally. You can learn your respective course sitting at your study table. Also, the teachers are world-class and experienced.
- Flexibility: Online learning happens at your own convenience unless you’ve joined a course with live classes. So, you can schedule your learnings as per your availability and get the most out of it.
- Affordability: Online learning is affordable compared to traditional education. You can save your hard-earned money for other tasks. These platforms have low barriers to entry, often with free and low-cost learning options. Plus, if you’re not traveling to be present physically, remote learning is also affordable in that way too.
- Variety: You may have faced limitations of courses offered in physical universities. However, online learning offers you a much more broad variety of topics to choose from.
- Interaction. These platforms have dedicated forums and groups to solve your queries, clarify any doubts, offer technical help, and network with other students. Interacting with teachers and fellow students is extremely valuable as you learn.
- Career Advancement: You can increase your value compared to other employees with online learning. You get new skills and certifications to advance in the professional landscape. Many students choose online learning over traditional in-person study. In fact, 70% of students agree that online classes are better quality.
How To Stay Safe While Learning Online
Follow these top tips for ensuring more safety as you learn online.
1. Create Strong Passwords
It may sound like a simple change, but it’s effective. Start by changing the password of your LMS portal and the email through which you’ve signed up on the platform.
But remember never to use a simple password that anyone with your personal information can easily guess. Your password should be complex to be a strong password. You can use a mix match of alphabets in different cases, numbers, and special characters.
2. Make Personal Information Private
The online world is full of frauds and scammers. You may have seen various accounts have been hacked. To ensure you never be the victim, never share your personal information on social media and other websites.
Whether it's your contact number or email address, ensure not to share with any anonymous website or your online learning batchmates.
3. Use Trusted Websites and Apps
When learning online, only using trusted websites and apps is important. Stick to reputable sources like FORMA LMS and double-check the URL before entering personal information.
Make it a rule: avoid clicking on links you don’t know and trust. Also, don’t download files received in your email or from unknown sources on the Internet.
4. Use Public Wi-Fi with Caution
Attacking public wifi networks is the easiest way to target and steal personal information. Therefore, you must be aware while using a public wifi network.
If somehow you have to use a wifi network, ensure it is safe and secure. Also, don't enter your passwords or account credentials over public wifi.
5. Keep Your Device Updated
Companies spend thousands of dollars on regularly releasing software updates. These updates are intended to continually improve security, fix operating issues, and more.
Keeping your software updated on the devices you’re using to learn is definitely recommended. You should also install antivirus software on your devices. It will help you to protect your devices from malware and viruses.
The market isn’t scarce with antivirus software. We recommend you do the due diligence, spend time researching what you need, and use only the best antivirus software.
6. Don’t Open Suspicious Links
Cybercriminals send suspicious emails or links to attack your devices and online platforms in hopes of obtaining your personal information. When you click on those links, it’ll often ask for personal information or sometimes automatically download viruses to your devices.
You must double-check before opening any link. Also, avoid sharing your information until you feel safe and secure. In case of any doubt, report it to the online learning support team.
7. Use Privacy Settings
The right LMS platforms have privacy settings that you can adjust to control what information is visible to others.
Once you are done with privacy settings, you are safe from potential cyber threats.
How We at FORMA LMS Ensure the Online Security of Our Users
At FORMA LMS, we continously stress the importance of using strong passwords, changing them regularly, and enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for our users. Plus, we educate them about being cautious about common cyberattacks like phishing.
As developers, we focus on securing our applications by encrypting passwords, keeping our core components up to date, and conducting thorough penetration testing.
We've set up a solid defence for our servers with a Global Firewall and a Virtual Private Cloud, and we constantly monitor our infrastructure with alert systems.
We've also added SPID (Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale) and CIE (Carta d'Identità Elettronica) as new ways to log in to FORMA LMS.
These methods provide users with government-backed digital identity authentication, adding more trust and reliability to the system.
List Of Risks With Online Learning
Now, let’s discuss the risks associated with online learning so you have a better understanding of what to look out for in the education environment.
Every LMS (learning management system) asks for some personal information when you sign up. This information might include your name, email, phone number, etc.
Working with a non-reputable platform, you might believe that your information is safe, but hackers can steal this information and commit fraud with your identity.
Therefore, unless it's a trusted platform (like FORMA LMS), we recommend you stay cautious and provide only the needed information.
Scammers may send you fraudulent emails, texts, or links to attack you. Even these links are so legitimate that people click on them. And with just one click, your personal information is at risk.
You might come across pop-ups during your research while studying. Malicious pop-ups are another form of cyber fraud. Many times these cyber hackers disrupt your computers via viruses, malware, and trojans.
Online learning relies heavily on technology, and technical difficulties can disrupt your learning experience. These can include poor internet connection, software glitches, or hardware failure.
It's important to remember that online learning can still be safe and secure. However, you must take the necessary precautions and stay on alert. You should educate yourself regularly on what to look out for in the most recent and common cybersecurity risks so that you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself.
You must ensure the safety of your personal information. Even if technology does help us in many ways, reliance on it has brought a lot of risks, so always remember that online scams can happen to anyone, anytime.
Having said that, it is better to be safe than sorry; take the above mentioned steps and enjoy the benefits of online learning while keeping your personal information safe and secure.
Lastly, remember that staying safe online is a continuous process. You must always stay on alert, look for anomalies, and act fast if you find one. This will significantly reduce your chances of becoming a cyber victim.