Data Privacy and Security
The threat to our information assets has never been so great. Vulnerabilities range from a stolen laptop to denial-of-service attacks to a misconfigured password. Yet, small changes in behavior can have a huge impact on information security. That's why it's every employee's duty – from the executive level to the teacher in the classroom to make security a priority. These webpages aim to provide full transparency on how we protect our most important data – that of our students and staff. See links to data privacy agreements that govern the use of technology in TSD here.
Safeguards taken by Google's G-Suite for Education Services
Thompson School District uses Google accounts to provide students with a wide variety of applications for organization, communication, storage, and learning. These accounts are essential for the delivery of, and engagement with, our curriculum. We understand the trepidation some may feel about their children's use of applications managed by such a large corporation such as Google. The services Google provides us are protected within a TSD domain that is different from, and stronger than, the protections afforded standard consumer accounts. Learn more about what Google does to keep student data safe and secure at the G-Suite for Education Privacy and Security website.
Safeguards taken by Thompson School District
Thompson School District and the Colorado State Department of Education take data privacy and security seriously. Here is a list of all of the vendors TSD has contracted with that have a Data Privacy Addendum on file. Furthermore, listed below are procedures taken to support data security operations.
- Vetting of all applications, extensions, web services, and software for data privacy compliance.
- Encryption of vital stored data and securing data access.
- Authentication for users to gain access to devices and the network.
- Communicating expectations and protocols to system end users.
- Policies and guidelines created concerning the use of the Internet, intranet, and extranet systems.
- Providing a layered defense to protect the network and its perimeter.
- Audit and compliance monitoring.
- Incident Response Plan developed to address breaches of sensitive data.
Recommended Safeguards for Students and their Families
By teaching children about internet safety, being aware of their online habits, and guiding them to appropriate sites, parents can make sure that children become safe and responsible Internet users. Help your children become good digital citizens with these tips for privacy and security on the World Wide Web.
1. BE WEB WISE
Remember the Internet is a public resource. It can be an easy way for people to misrepresent themselves or their motives. Don't believe everything that you read online. Verify the authenticity of information before taking any action.
2. KEEP A CLEAN MACHINE
- Keep security software current.
- Automate software updates.
- Always use a firewall.
- Disconnect from the Internet when idle.
- Use a pop-up blocker.
- Back up your data regularly.
- Protect all devices that connect to the internet. This includes computers, smart phones, and gaming systems.
- Scan USB and other external devices for viruses and malware.
- Wipe your hard drive before you dispose of an old computer.
3. CONNECT WITH CARE
- Encrypt your Wi-Fi connection.
- When in doubt, throw it out. Links in emails, tweets, posts and advertisements are often used as means to compromise your device. Best to delete or mark as junk if something looks suspicious.
- Check to be sure sites are security-enabled when banking and shopping. Look for web addresses with 'https://' or 'shttp://'. 'http://' is not secure.
4. CONDUCT SAFE INTERNET TRANSACTIONS
- Secure your accounts. Many providers offer additional verification beyond passwords, use them.
- Make passwords long and strong (see next section).
- Use separate passwords for every account.
- Own your online presence. Set privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level of information sharing.
5. CHOOSE STRONG AND VARIED PASSWORDS
- Create a password using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols.
- Use one password for your computer login and different passwords for websites.
- Give your password and credit-card number only while on a secure connection on a website.
- Change your password periodically.
- Use different passwords for different websites.
- Use your address, birth date, phone number, common words, or pet's name.
- Share your passwords.
- Write down any passwords near your computer or where someone can easily access them.
- Carry your passwords in your purse or wallet.
- Give your password or credit card number via email.
6. BE AWARE WHEN USING SOCIAL NETWORKS
- Be mindful of bullying, predators, and privacy issues.
- Only accept 'friends' you already know.
- Avoid giving out private information.
7. SET PARENTAL CONTROLS
Parental controls are available on most Internet-enabled devices. Read more about the different kinds of filters and tools available. OR find links to additional information about protecting kids online. For a parent's guide, see Keep Your Kids Safe Online. You can also purchase a monitoring protection service for your children such as Bark.
8. PROTECT YOUR MOBILE DEVICES
- Use a strong passcode to lock your phone.
- Review privacy policies and understand what data applications can access before you download.
- Only give your number to people you know and trust.
- Disable geotagging.