Cybersecurity Concerns in eLearning and Education

Dozens of evolving and new cybersecurity threats has the eLearning and education industry on its toes.

Sophisticated cybersecurity concerns like phishing threats, teenage hackers, and spyware threats have placed governments, corporations, and individuals on high alert. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime-related damages would hit an annual figure of $6 trillion by 2021.

Folks behind eLearning security threats are inventive, manipulative, and masters of disguise. They are always on the lookout for better ways of harming the industry.

So far, the most prevalent cybersecurity concerns in the eLearning and education industry are.

Phishing Threats

You’ve probably come across emails and instant messages that seem genuine. The primary aim of such digital messages is to get the target person to click on a link, a suspicious-looking link that would expose vital data or install malware.

Since folks in the education industry are aware of the risk of clicking on suspicious links, cybercriminals have upped their game.

By using machine learning, cybercriminals can craft convincing messages to compromise private databases to gain access to credit card details and also steal login credentials.


Cybersecurity threats are created by folks who have a thorough understanding of various programming languages. These programmers create malware for their gains. And when others are victimized, they get to change or steal information.

Virus Threats 

A virus is a computer threat that executes and replicates itself without the knowledge of the computer operator. During the execution and replication process, damages are done to the computer.

A typical computer virus is designed to alter the operating process of the computer.

Advertising, Adware, and Trojan Threats

Adware trojans are usually installed with other software — and it comes without the permission of the computer user. These programs monitor your online behavior, download malicious software, and display ads on your computer.

The information obtained from your online behavior is usually transferred to an Ad Management Centre. The Ad Management Centre will create a custom profile of you, and send it to third party agencies without your consent.

Adware Trojans are part of the free content you download online. Therefore, before clicking the download link of free content, you’ve got to be sure of the content source.

Spyware Threats

Spyware is designed to monitor your internet activities, install programs, and capture personal information without your consent.

Online Social Network Threat

Hackers can dive right into the source to inject corrupt codes into social media sites. These corrupt codes can be embedded into third-party apps and Ads. A shortened URL is placed on social media sites like Twitter to direct users into malicious sites.

When the user lands on a malicious site, personal information is extracted from the computer, which is modified to suit the intent of the hacker.

Protecting an eLearning platform from these cyber threats isn’t a walk in the park. You’d have to utilize highly sophisticated techniques to protect your eLearning platform from cyber threats.

To get started, you should…

1. Develop Multiple, Strong Backup Systems

Since the US government, Yahoo!, and Google have been hacked before; everyone is vulnerable to these attacks. You can’t be 100% certain of the security of your eLearning platform!

One of the best ways of taking the security of your eLearning facility to the next level is by having multiple, robust backup systems. After all, you can be the next target of a fully equipped hacker.

Having a reliable backup is no joke!

Build a local backup for your systems and also install a couple of cloud backups. This way, when crisis comes knocking, you’d be able to get your platform running.

2. Use 2-Factor Authentication

If you’ve got a significant number of users on your eLearning platform, then the 2-Factor authentication is a must.


Because users can be careless, and there’s no telling if they are using the same login credentials for other sites.

Imagine a user who uses the same login credentials for various sites. If one of those sites is hacked, it would be pretty easy to access the user’s credentials and use it to access content on your platform.

To reduce the risk of such compromises, users on your platform should use 2-factor authentication.

With the 2-factor authentication, a code would be sent to the user’s mobile device to confirm their access. This way, the user’s login credentials would be pretty useless to a hacker.

3. Regularly Update the Learning Management System (LMS)

Technology is rapidly evolving — and hackers are keeping up with the changes. If your LMS has security breaches, or if it hasn’t been updated for some time, then you’re in for a hack!

Keep your LMS up to date. Install the latest updates and save yourself from a world of troubles.

Conclusion — Secure your eLearning system the right way

Securing online learning platforms wasn’t easy some years back. 

However, with the emergence of new technological tools like 2-factor authentication, securing eLearning platforms is quite easy. And if properly implemented, these tools can be used to protect eLearning facilities against cyber threats.