Internet Security is perhaps one of the most important branch of technology today. With the millions of people connected to the internet, where even the K-12 students are free to roam around, it is a necessary to provide security measures. The internet has given numerous ways of improving communication opportunities and has changed the teaching paradigms for educator and the students. The internet has set numerous ways of handling classes that runs from blended learning to full distance learning modes which was made possible because of the internet technology.
However, as much as these new ways of teaching have been advantageous to the students because they were able to utilized these new educational methods like the utilization of the social media for discussion they are also exposed to the numerous risks and ethical issues. This has created numerous opening for illegal, unsuitable and treacherous conducts among students.
As the schools have adopted the use of the internet technology in their day to day classroom activities, it has become inherent that they also teach the students on how they can protect themselves to the dangers of their internet exposure. Including internet security education in the existing curriculums of the schools in one method by which the teachers can help educate their students. It is not practical to have a separate class that solely discusses internet security since almost all classes utilizes the internet in their classes, may it be inside the actual class or by through their homework given them at school. It is important that they understand what are computer crimes and how are they committed. As young as they are, they are already capable of committing computers crimes like what the 14-year old Randy Miller has done using his home computer to invade other computers. Today, the number of teenagers who are attempting to gain access on others computer systems is increasing.
Computer crimes today are not only those involved in gaining unauthorized access to others systems but are now also including credit card and communication fraud, unlawful copying of copyrighted software, and deploying software or attacking other computers through bombs, data didling, denial of service attacks, piggybacking, salami technique, scavenging, trapdoor, Trojan horse or hacking. All of these must be discussed with the students so they know when they are already committing computer crimes. (Capron, 2004)
Aside from letting them understand what computer crimes are, they must also be given pointers on how to protect themselves from these crime starting from prevention. Prevention tips must be discussed to them especially on personal computer security and what they must do when they actually encounter such problems.
Inside the classroom, internet security is easier to manage because the teacher has control over the software that can be installed inside the computers and the sites that can be opened. A firewall must be installed and it is also good to provide mechanisms that prevents the students to install software especially those that they just download. It is also good to block sites and applications that are not needed by the students. Another good practice is to record the users of a specific computer by making their individual accounts so that there is a way of knowing who was the last user in case problems arise.
Giving students homework that requires online access cannot be prevented. One good way is to let the students parents involved so that they know what is supposed to be done by the student. This can also help the parent control what they can access even if they are using their own computers at home.
While discussing internet security inside the classroom, ethical issues concerning the use of the internet must also be discussed especially those related to copyright issues as there is a immense tendency of the students using other peoples work when doing researches or submitting assignments. They must made to understand the provisions of the copyright act and they must agree to properly acknowledged all works that they used in anything that they submit. Specific rules on how plagiarism is treated must be included in the student use agreement so that the students may know the implications when they don’t adhere to the rules set in the student use agreement.
The student use agreement must be extensively discussed inside the class to ensure that every student understands all its provisions and then let them sign as a way of knowing that they agree to it together with their parents or guardians so that they may also know what rules are set in school with regards to the internet use (Bates, 2004). Further, parents should also be encouraged to create their own set of internet usage rules in their own homes to be able to continue the discipline they already have from their classrooms.
Bates, Jason (2004). Code of Ethics for Educators. Retrieved from http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/mickley/ethicsnew.htm
Caprol, H.L. (2004). Computers Electronic Tools For an Information Age. Pearson Education SouthEast Asia, Upper Saddle, New Jersey.
Educationworld.com (2013). Tools for Cyber Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech055.shtml
Helms, Ann (2012). N.C. may be first state to charge students with cyber crimes. Retrieved from http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/12/01/3700359/nc-may-be-first-state-to-charge.html