When my older daughter started middle school I was invited to the website where her grades were available real-time. They’re updated continually by her teachers based on every quiz, homework assignment, and test that she takes. This is a substantial improvement over infrequent report cards and teacher meetings, giving me the ability to detect, early on, any areas needing greater focus (not that it’s needed with my straight-A student). Unfortunately, when I checked the security of the site, I found that “secure login” was optional and, in the case of the middle-school’s implementation, everything was completely unsecured. This included not only my kid’s grades but also the ability to look her up and message her directly. While the school fixed this very quickly, it highlights how easy it is for site operators to miss even the most basic of security practices. As more education is done and administered online, the bar is only getting higher for institutions to protect their student data as well as their own.
As the world’s largest security company, we continually ask how we can educate people about security and whether the sites that they are visiting are secure. The bottom line is that it needs to be simple — yes or no. The Norton Secured Seal communicates that “yes, this site is secure” to more people than any other seal or browser-based visual cue. Behind the scenes there’s a lot that goes into the display of that seal… Is the data encrypted? Is the site run by a legitimate company? Is the site free from Malware? Only when the answer is yes to all of these questions will visitors see the Norton Secured Seal.
In honor of Digital Learning Day, we are doing our part to both keep people secure and to educate the world about security. Combined with our 24/7 support team, we hope to increase security at educational institutions and let them easily train their visitors to look for the seal that tells them that they’re secure.