Schools should teach better password security

Homework Diary lgI had a friend ring me today and she mentioned home work troubles with her child. Apparently they’d tried to log in to do their maths homework and their password wouldn’t work.

Obviously worries about detentions and the like were the top concerns, but what worries me more is the School’s lax attitude to security. Apparently all the pupils are required to write down their user names and passwords in their homework diaries.

I don’t know if the password was changed and forgotten (no one can recall doing this), or if another pupil mischievously decided to change a fellow pupil’s password as a prank. What I do know is that schools are supposed to be a place of learning and should be preparing their charges for life in the real world.

We have all been told numerous times never to write our passwords down. Never tell anyone what our passwords are. Never use easy to guess passwords. And yet here is a school ordering their pupils to do exactly that!

Should schools be teaching children IT skills that they’ll need later in life, or is it acceptable for them to ingrain in youngsters that passwords should be recorded in home work diaries in the knowledge that every other child, teacher and parent with access to the home work diary has that child’s log in?

How many children will use the same password for their maths homework that they do for their iPad, computer, mobile phone and email address? I’m lost for words, what do you think?

We don’t normally name and shame on Tamebay, so it would be very wrong of me to reference Trinity School in Newbury. Do you keep your passwords safer than this particular school and do you teach your children to keep their passwords safe?