Why School Computer Hacking Is on the Rise and How to Protect Yours

minute read
May 15, 2023

Schools have become a prime target for hackers in recent years, as cybercriminals seek to exploit vulnerabilities in their IT systems and access sensitive information. School computer hacking refers to the unauthorized access, theft, or exposure of sensitive data collected and stored by educational institutions.

This includes student and staff personal information, medical records, financial data, and other sensitive information. Hackers may use various methods to gain access to this data, including phishing attacks, malware, and social engineering tactics.

Different Types of Methods Hackers Use

As technology advances, hackers continue to devise new and sophisticated methods to exploit vulnerabilities and gain unauthorized access to sensitive information. In this article, we will delve into three common techniques employed by hackers: phishing, malware, and social engineering.

Understanding these methods will help you recognize potential threats, protect yourself and your organization, and stay one step ahead in the ongoing battle against cybercrime. Let's explore each of these techniques in detail.

school computer hacking


Phishing is a type of cyber attack in which an attacker sends fraudulent emails, text messages, or other forms of communication to trick the recipient into divulging sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card numbers, or other personal information. The attacker may pose as a trustworthy source, such as a bank, social media platform, or other reputable organization, and use various social engineering tactics to gain the recipient's trust and convince them to take action. This may include clicking on a malicious link, downloading a file, or entering sensitive information into a fake login page.

Phishing attacks can be highly effective when targeting schools because of the number of staff involved on the same network. According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group phishing attacksrecently reached an all-time high in of over one million attacks in Q1 of 2022.


Malware, short for malicious software, is a type of software designed to harm or exploit computer systems or networks. Malware can take many forms, including viruses, worms, trojans, ransomware, and spyware. Once installed on a computer or network, malware can cause a range of issues, from slowing down system performance to stealing sensitive information and even rendering the system completely inoperable.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is a type of hacking tactic that exploits human psychology to gain unauthorized access to computer systems or networks. Social engineering attacks typically involve tricking individuals into divulging sensitive information, such as passwords or personal information, or manipulating them into taking actions that enable the attacker to gain access to the system or network.

Why school computer hacking is on the rise

School computer hacking is becoming more popular for a number of reasons. The valuable data collected by schools makes them an appealing target. Schools collect and store a wealth of sensitive data, including student and staff personal information, medical records, and financial information. This information is highly valuable to cybercriminals, who can use it for identity theft, financial fraud or other illegal activities.

The shift to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the risks for schools. The rapid transition to remote learning has resulted in schools adopting new technology platforms and software, many of which may not have undergone thorough security assessments.

Schools may also be perceived as easy targets for cybercriminals due to their often outdated IT systems and lack of security protocols. They may also be seen as less likely to detect or report cyberattacks. Many schools have inadequate security measures in place to protect their IT systems and data. They may lack the resources or expertise to implement robust security measures or may underestimate the risks of cyberattacks.

Risks of School Computer Hacking

Schools are increasingly reliant on technology for teaching, learning, and administrative tasks, which makes them vulnerable to computer hacking. A successful hack can have serious consequences, including data breaches, financial losses, and disruptions to learning and administrative activities. Here are some of the hacking risks schools face:

1. Data breaches. Schools may be at risk of data breaches, where sensitive information is accessed, stolen, or exposed. Data breaches can result in significant reputational damage, legal liability, and financial losses.

2. Ransomware attacks. Ransomware attacks can result in the loss of critical data, financial losses, and disruptions to school operations. They may also result in reputational damage and legal liability.

3. Identity theft. Schools hold a significant amount of personal information about their students and staff, including social security numbers, birth dates, and financial information. This information can be used for identity theft, which can have long-lasting financial and legal consequences for victims.

4. Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a growing concern for schools, as students may use social media and other online platforms to harass, bully, or intimidate their peers. Schools may be held liable for cyberbullying incidents that occur on their IT systems or networks.

hackers targeting schools

Protect Your Staff and Your School Data

Schools must take proactive measures to protect their data from cyber threats. Protecting school data involves implementing a range of security measures, including securing networks, educating staff and students on safe online practices, and regularly monitoring systems for vulnerabilities and potential attacks. With the right strategies and tools in place, schools can reduce the risk of data breaches, potentially limit their liability, and safeguard sensitive information while ensuring the continuity of their operations.

  1. Implement robust security measures. Robust doesn’t necessarily mean budget-breaking. Schools should implement security measures to protect their IT systems and data. This may include layers of firewalls, antivirus software, encryption, and access controls. They should also regularly update and patch their software and systems to prevent vulnerabilities from being exploited.
  2. Conduct security assessments. Schools should conduct regular security assessments to identify vulnerabilities and potential risks. These assessments can help schools develop effective security policies and procedures and ensure that their IT systems are secure.
  3. Train staff and students. Schools should train their staff and students on cybersecurity best practices, including how to recognize and report suspicious activity, how to create strong passwords, and how to protect sensitive information. This can help create a culture of security and reduce the risks of cyberattacks.
  4. Backup data. Schools should regularly back up their data to prevent the loss of critical information in the event of a cyberattack or data breach. This can help ensure that school operations can continue in the event of a cyber attack.

SOLVED Consulting offers a variety of secure data services, from help to collect and organize your school’s valuable data, to secure storage solutions and more. Learn more about our data solutions on our website.

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