Hackers are particularly difficult to identify. They come from all different socio-cultural and ethnic backgrounds and have no real common traits (School Governance 2016). As the ubiquity of technology continues along with the mounting academic and general pressures placed on students the phenomenon of hacking into school systems to manipulate data such as grades and exam results will continue(Roblyer & Doyle 2014).
In Australia there are serious legal consequences for hackers where students could be charged under the 2001 cyber crime act with unauthorised access to, or modification of, restricted data or unauthorised impairment of electronic communication. These penalties have a respective maximum sentence of two or ten years (School Governance 2016).
There seem to be two main recommendations. On the one hand schools are recommended to be vigilant about security by updating passwords, not leaving computers unattended or electronic equipment lying around as well as encrypting networks and getting a security audit. These are all great ideas for prevention however I think the second recommendation is equally if not more important. Schools are also recommended to provide education and guidance on hacking in the form of cyber-awareness education, involving parents in the education and providing opportunities for students who excel in the field of technology. Students can learn about ethical hacking, and white hat hacking (School Governance 2016).
Like many aspects of netiquette and digital education there is again a blurring of the lines when it comes to whether the school or the caregivers are responsible. In 2016 the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner conducted a 12 month report and found that seven percent of cyber bullying reports were hacking of social media accounts. With many schools having a blanket ban on social media being used in school, the responsibility is not necessarily going to lie with the school, however if the hacking of accounts and cyber bullying is occurring between two students who met at school then the issue becomes far from clear cut.
Australian Government office of the children’s e-safety commissioner (2016)E-safety issues. Retrieved from https://www.esafety.gov.au/esafety-information/esafety-issues
Dean, C (2016 November 17) Privacy update: Student hackers. Retrieved From https://www.schoolgovernance.net.au/2016/11/17/privacy-update-student-hackers/
Roblyer, M., & Doering, A. (2014). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching: International Edition, 6th Edition, Pearson.