With online learning, smart devices, and internet connectivity, in general, becoming a part of our modern education, it’s no surprise educational institutions and students are leveraging internet connectivity in many of their activities both inside and outside school.
From completely online-based learning to in-person learning, the internet still remains an asset to students across the world.
As a result, most educational institutions provide students access to internet connectivity through the institution’s network and even provide computers to students in some cases.
While convenient, students sometimes wonder whether the institution is technically able to track their online activities.
This article will look at some of these questions and try to provide clear answers to ease any anxiety.
Do Universities Monitor Internet Activity
Yes. Universities can track internet activity on their network in detail especially website activity involving unencrypted websites but cannot track contents of encrypted websites outside the general domain.
While the legal implications of this may not be clear, most universities can easily track student online activities on their network.
This enables them to identify and limit student access to inappropriate websites and information through their network and also limit heavy traffic through streaming and file transfer.
It is worth noting that some institutions employ the use of services that monitor traffic on the school’s domain.
Also don’t miss:
You ever tried visiting a website only to be told the website wasn’t secure? That’s an unencrypted website which simply means that attackers can tap into the unencrypted stream of data to perform Man in The Middle (MiTM) attacks.
An attacker on the same network can easily decrypt your data, alter, or even steal transferred data.
Educational institutions as well will be able to see every information you access or send on an unencrypted website. Unencrypted websites have addresses that begin with http
Universities can still track where you’re connected to and the length of time but would be unable to read the contents. Websites with encrypted connections start with https
Can Universities See Internet History
Universities can see your internet history if you use the school’s computer or you’re logged into your computer’s browser as a profile with your school account. The school is able to access every account on its domain and even view its search history.
It’s advisable to refrain from using your school’s email address or account as a profile on your internet browser. You don’t necessarily need to be on the school’s network for them to have access to your search history if you’re logged in with the school’s account.
Can Your School See Your Internet History On My Phone
Yes, your school can access your phone’s internet history if you’re logged into your browser with the school’s account or your phone is connected to your school’s network.
While you can log into your school’s account on your phone, it’s advisable that you don’t use it as your primary profile in your browser to protect your privacy.
Not only can schools identify any sites you may have visited on their network but also knows any information you may have accessed on any unencrypted website.
Can Your School See Your Internet History At Home
No. Your internet history is only visible to your school at home if you’re logged into the student account as your active account in your web browser or you’re using the school’s computer or network.
It’s recommended that you use your personal email as your default profile on your computer. If on a school’s computer, refraining from accessing sensitive information is advisable.
Can Your School See What You Do On Your Phone At Home
No, schools cannot track student laptop or phone activities at home unless these devices were provided by the institution and have some form of proctoring tools installed to specifically track student activities outside the school.
It’s advisable to log out of your school’s account if logged in to avoid using your school’s account for anything that goes against their policies.
Can Your School See What You Do On Your Laptop At Home
No, educational institutions can only see student activities on the school’s network or on devices provided by the schools which may be installed with proctoring tools.
If on your personal laptop, the school cannot see any activities on your laptop unless you use your school’s account to browse.
Can Your School See Your Youtube History
Schools can only see the history of students accessing YouTube through their student accounts but cannot access history from personal accounts.
Although schools may technically be able to access student YouTube history in the first instance, most would refrain from this act, unless relevant to an investigation.
Can Your School See Your Deleted History
Yes. Deleted history on a student account can still be accessed by the school’s account administrator. It’s advisable to browse using your personal accounts or refrain from accessing sensitive information when on the school’s computer or network.
How Often Do Schools Check Search History
Only when there’s cause to do so. While schools can, going through each student’s search history on a daily basis would be a daunting task for schools. Besides most schools implement some form of website restrictions on devices to prevent student access to inappropriate content.
Can Your School See What You Do On Your Personal Account
Unless you’re using the school’s network or device, your school would be unable to see any activities on your personal account. However, the school may be able to see your online activities on their network and in detail on unencrypted websites.
Schools deal with a huge number of people on a daily basis and hardly have time to monitor every student activity on their network or their accounts.
While they may technically be able to access your history, most school employees are adults with their own lives who would most likely refrain from snooping around student accounts. Not unless warranted.
Most of these systems are automated or third-party services are employed to track student access to inappropriate websites. Even then these services have automated systems in place and only review suspicious activities.