UGC Draft Handbook on ‘Digital Hygiene’, detailed redefining protocol

Recommendations in the University Grants Commission’s “Digital Hygiene” draft handbook include protected Internet browsing, turning off webcam and not using computer audio, not downloading content while using public WiFi, and using a password manager. UGC has created a handbook for Institutes of Higher Education (HEIs) so that students and teachers can be safe in “cyberspace”.

The handbook, which details the “redefining behavioral protocols for students and the purpose of teachers in virtual classes”, comes against the backdrop of the shift toward online education induced by the Kovid-19 epidemic.

“In the emerging age of digitalisation, learning requires technology-assisted learning, learning solutions and rapid innovation. Students and teachers now have access to smart mobile devices as well as a variety of remote e-learning and assessment options. Virtual Classrooms I have come up with a unique approach, ”the draft said.

“Distance learning has a number of important features that can be detrimental to the entire school community. Teachers, on the other hand, should be concerned about attacks during virtual classroom lectures during discussions,” it said.

The Commission noted that it is abundantly clear that we live in a big data world where the “right to forget” or “the right to delete” is not so simple because a person’s identity is not only disclosed personally, but also on public platforms. .

“Metadata plays an important role in why digital footprints are always lagging behind in one form or another to find a digital path toward a person. Can, ”it says.

Trusting strangers, unawareness and underestimating risks are among the main factors listed by the commission that make users vulnerable to cyberspace.

“Social engineering attacks, misinformation and propaganda, deep fraud, camouflage, spoofing, morphing, identity theft, cyber espionage, phishing, UPI fraud, are among the major cyber crimes that users need to be aware of,” the handbook added. Do’s and don’ts for every crime.

Keep the privacy settings of social media profiles as strict as possible, especially for the public and others, remember that anything shared online will remain in cyberspace and may be abused at any time, do not download books and apps from untrusted resources, do not share financial information One of the recommendations in the handbook is to prevent the use of old forms by using a firewall and clearing the browsing history and browser cache from time to time by installing a reliable anti-virus software, protecting personal information and helping applications run better.

“Another type of fraud is job-related fraud, as people have started looking for job opportunities online. It has allowed scammers to deceive people. It makes it difficult to find out, ”he said

The UGC has also prepared a draft syllabus of cybersecurity courses for undergraduates and postgraduates along with the credit scheme.

“Two documents will be made public soon to seek feedback from stakeholders. HEI should nominate a faculty member as a cyber security officer and also seek ISO certification. Institutions should focus on keeping cyber security protocols,” said a senior official. .

“HEIs may consider offering a course on cybersecurity to all students to create awareness and capacity building to teach the cybersecurity course,” he added.

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