Protecting student privacy with digital credential services

Parchment Staff  •  Jun 15, 2021  •  Blog

How digital records exchange can help protect student privacy

We live in a predominately digital world, but there are still certain sectors that may be considered “behind the times” by resisting or even slowly adopting the technological advances that can make tasks easier to navigate in their daily agendas. 

In the world of K12 education, the digital transformation has been slow. However, with the forced onset of working remotely during the COVID pandemic, more and more school districts are adopting tools like digital records solutions to more easily and securely manage, collect, send, transfer, and report on student records. 

Technology in the world of teaching altogether has seen a major increase over the years — use of technology in education has increased more than three times in the last decade, according to Appinventiv — but some districts are still following traditional practices by sending transcripts and documents via snail mail, but this can be detrimental to the safety and privacy of students.

Transferring to a new high school, enrolling in college and applying for that first job outside of school are a few of the reasons why students may request their credentials be sent to external destinations. How can they ensure the safety of their information as it moves from one location to another? The short answer: Going digital.

How much student data is being collected?

Today, there are mounds of data being collected on students every year, and it’s growing at a rapid pace. The digital transformation has created a more holistic picture into student progress, body of work and achievements across the years. However, this information can be highly sensitive, and may include detailed IEPs, immunization records, and behavior incidents. 

With greater data comes greater instances of vulnerability when it comes to protecting student privacy. Even hackers are on the rise among school districts, namely because of remote learning environments becoming the popular choice. In an advisory from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Multi-State Information Sharing Analysis Center, hackers are exploiting remote learning because they are main “targets of opportunity.” With so much information transfer occurring at this time, the need to safeguard student data is more important than ever.

This can also be true for students moving from one district to another, since their information is being shared via fax and mail. The same can be said for students requesting transcripts, diplomas and other important documents and credentials. Many digital online platforms are safeguarded to ensure the safety and privacy of students and PII, but how much security can districts who are still providing and exchanging paper-based transcripts and records promise to those students?

How Parchment works to safeguard student privacy

Moving student credentials from one location to another shouldn’t jeopardize their vulnerable information, and it shouldn’t be a timely task either. Parchment’s comprehensive digital records service offerings are designed to securely send and receive credentials like transcripts, student transfer files, and other records. Parchment has built an expansive and secure exchange network where K12 districts can confidently manage and send student and alumni records. All data on Parchment digital credentials is encrypted in storage and during transit. Sent credentials are tracked to the destination and the system generates a notification once the credential has been accessed by the approved recipient. 

Did you know that credential fraud is a $2 billion worldwide market? That’s why Parchment designed the Receive database with end-to-end security to ensure all credentials go through the system to remain tamper-free. Parchment provides patented Blue Ribbon Certified PDFs to guarantee that official transcripts and records haven’t been tampered with and the signatures are verified. 

Taking paper-based credential delivery out of the equation can reduce the vulnerability of data transfer, but working with a trusted digital credential provider makes matters even easier. It’s a no brainer. 

Learn more about Parchment’s comprehensive digital records solution for K12 districts

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Admissions Enrollment Advisor looking at student transcripts