Google Workspace for Education comes with several security and privacy features. Read on to ensure that you are making the most of them.
You are probably familiar with Google Workspace for Education (GWFE) and its basic features. To recall, GWFE provides educational institutions with a comprehensive Learning Management System (LMS). This LMS comes equipped with standard Google functionalities, such as Docs, Slides, and Sheets. It also allows for more advanced actions to be taken such as call scheduling and calendar management.
Employing GWFE comes with several considerations that you need to take. Working according to the educational best practices comes with security and privacy concerns. Constructing, developing, and sustaining a safe and secure digital environment for your institution can seem intimidating. But it is essential to provide your students – and their parents – with the peace of mind they require for effective and confident learning.
Is Google Workspace for Education secure?
The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic saw an unprecedented migration towards online education. More and more educational institutions moved from in-person classes to digital learning solutions. Consequently, they saw themselves becoming more vulnerable to cyberattacks. But the problem existed well before the pandemic was even in sight. For instance, over 775 incidents of cybersecurity attacks on educational institutions in the US have been reported since 2016. Almost half of them occurred in the year 2019 alone.
This gives rise to data security concerns for students, parents, and administrators. Keeping these concerns in mind, GWFE gives focused attention to security and privacy controls. It provides school administrators with controls which they can use to manage the personal information of their users.
Google Workspace for Education Privacy Features
The most basic package of GWFE – Education Fundamentals – comes with four security features. These include Alert Center and Identity and access management. These help you with increasing visibility, manageability, and authentication.
Another core security functionality is Data Loss Protection (DLP). This is by far the most power-granting and customizable of the security features. It provides you with complete control over setting up data-related rules and policies. Vault is another similar core feature. It supports you in retaining your data in addition to searching and exporting it.
If you opt for the most premium package of GWFE - Education Plus – you get at least three more security features. Proactive prevention tightens security protocols while Advanced detection analyses and addresses security concerns. Quick remediation identifies and remediates cyberattacks as and when the arise. Safe Doc provides more advanced security features that Google Admin Console does not have. This even includes intra-system controls, especially to keep mischievous students in check and prevent them from disrupting online classes.
What Google Workspace for Education Privacy Settings should you know?
To make Google Workspace for Education more private according to your needs, you have a few settings you should be aware of. For starters, you can designate a data regions policy for your users. This helps you store all your data in a set geographical region. This also allows multiple layers of security while still enabling you to comply with local data security regulations.
The GWFE’s security center is the hub for all your data security needs. This includes all the safety and privacy features discussed earlier. It also houses a dashboard that gives you security status and threat visualizations. This makes it easier for you to track your system’s security health.
You can also customize access permissions either by age or by organizational unit (OU). This aids you in tailoring each class’s learning experience to their specific needs. It also keeps unauthorized access attempts in check. Setting up multiple OUs in a hierarchy increases the control you have over your system. Customizing settings for each one helps policy administering much more seamless.
Another action you can take is to educate your end-users, both teachers and students, to become more cyber-aware. Additionally, you can use GWFE’s Security Sandbox which offers security software solutions. It filters malicious emails and phishing attempts before they make their way into users’ inboxes.
As a last resort, you can delete your entire school domain or choose some accounts to keep and others to get rid of. Ultimately, you can also decide to stop using the service altogether. In this case, all your accounts and data stored in and by GWFE will be deleted completely.
About Safe Doc
Safe Doc provides Google Workspace for Education system management solutions that are not built in the service. Its simplicity of installation and ease of use make it ideal for both novice and expert administrators. It allows admins to enable or disable a variety of security and privacy features at will.