The EFF Unveils Study Into Day Cares & Preschools, Revealing Dangerously Unsafe Cybersecurity Practices

The EFF has revealed insights suggesting that many apps utilized by day care centers and preschools have a number of privacy issues that require tackling.

Preschools and day cares are where we send our kids to keep them safe, and help them learn how to socialize while we slave away at nine to five jobs. Of course, no time away from one’s own parents is ever a completely perfect scenario, but security mishaps are honestly pretty high on the list of things I’d expect such institutions to cover 24/7. No matter how much a parent wants children to avoid screen-time, being absolutely devoid of it in our current technological landscape would only be to their detriment. However, as with all such tools, the utmost care needs to be employed. Devices accessible by children, as well as tech devices as a whole in daycares and preschools need to have top-notch security. These devices harbor sensitive parental information, such as addresses or social security numbers. Kids can also easily be exposed to the worst of the internet on a poorly attenuated device.

Many of the information-storing devices that these institutions have are linked to cloud services such as iCloud or Amazon Web Services. It’s a nice method of storing information, sure, but there’s also the caveat of all relevant information being stored in a single place. A place that, mind you, isn’t particularly difficult to break into either. The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) decided to run a study into different daycares, taking a gander at their respective security measures and whatnot. The results revealed that an abysmal number of these institutions don’t even bother to add two-factor authentication to their accounts. This, combined with a lack of strong passwords, means that any ill-meaning individual with internet access can brute force their way into accounts holding sensitive information.

The EFF also found that daycares and preschools weren’t necessarily eager to start a conversation regarding the matter as well. Far from it in fact: most would either ignore emails outright, or reply with weak, unconvincing answers about the necessary measures being taken. This means that either such establishments are actively misleading parents into a false sense of security, or they’re fully confident in their own incompetency. Which, considering that this study took place in the USA, tracks.

Read next: 5 EU countries are using Pegasus Spyware to steal information and here’s all you need to know about it

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