The Essex County Board of Education is aware of at least one intervention last week involving high school students who were taking a Microsoft Teams course.
Spokesman Scott Scantlebury said the intruder made comments in inappropriate language, without providing further details. The council contacted the families of the affected students.
English Hamilton Wentworth Council is investigating a similar case that arose last Thursday during an online class for students at Collegiate Primary School.
Someone was able to access the virtual class and said
Racist insults against black people and inappropriate language, as well as the sharing of bold imagessays council spokesman Sean McKillop.
Hamilton Police launched an investigation.
Jeremy Reese says his seventh-grade daughter at Ridgemount School encountered a similar situation in her online classes last Wednesday.
Hamilton-Wentworth Council sent a letter of apology to parents on Monday in which school officials said someone inside may have been behind the break-ins.
Mr. Reese is concerned, as he fears a sexual harasser could take advantage of these kinds of security breaches.
Could someone come into class and not say or do anything, which would allow them to listen and gather information about these children? asks himself.
How do we prevent these situations?
According to online privacy expert Karen Louise Smith, there are ways to prevent similar situations from happening in Microsoft Teams, such as creating a lobby. This means that the teacher must give their consent before everyone can enter the virtual classroom.
The professor at Brock University adds, however:
It is important to realize that some of these procedures take time when teachers are already busy.
Ms. Smith believes that software vendors should do more to protect children.
Microsoft says it cares
The trust and safety of our community of teachers, learners and families, and we work closely with our clients to address their concerns.
One of the company’s tips to avoid intruders is to use a function in which the lesson organizer must agree to each of the participants, suggested Professor Smith.
With information provided by CBC’s Bobby Hristova News
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