Communication at schools

Chances, risks, challenges

The Cryptshare team is not just former pupils
 many of us are also parents with children who are in school.

Not only do we know about the communication with and at schools
from first-hand experience, we care about it deeply as well.

Many of our colleagues, myself included, have school-aged kids. We often need to exchange sensitive data about our children with teachers or the school office. Naturally, we want to feel assured that none of that data can make its way to any third parties. With our product Cryptshare, we successfully support enterprises and organisations worldwide in transferring their data securely to the intended recipients. So we asked ourselves, why is this not possible for schools as well? Since we know that their budgets are generally tight, we decided to launch the initiative Cryptshare for Schools. This is our way of contributing and giving back to society – so schools no longer need to worry about secure and GDPR-compliant communication but can fully focus on their educational mission again.
Dominik Lehr
Founder and CEO of Cryptshare AG

Many different approaches – one unifying goal

There are various school systems around the world with many ways of educating children.

However, they all share the same objective: to prepare children for their future as best as possible. In education, communication between teachers, parents, and pupils is an integral part in enabling that. Powered by advancements in technology, and particularly by social media, communication today is easier and faster than ever before.

People can get in touch, contact partners get closer to one another, and there are many and elaborate ways for active exchanges.

Simultaneously, popular means of communication, such as WhatsApp, entail considerable risks in several respects and they are not compliant with legal provisions such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

Many of those services do not ensure data privacy; personal data is being stored abroad and used for commercial purposes without notifying those affected or asking for their consent.

Headteachers, teachers, parents, as well as IT service providers for schools are all affected and need to not only enable, but secure communication at and with schools in a way that is compliant with data privacy.

Which perspective would you like to see?

Headteachers and school administrations deal with communication to and from parents, teachers, pupils, and certain authorities on a daily basis.

They are well aware of the challenges that the secure transfer of data presents when it comes to matters of data privacy and compliance with legal requirements regarding personal data, data protection, and privacy rights.

Promoting digitisation at schools is an ongoing endeavour and with many processes being online now, headteachers and school administrations are in a difficult position and need to balance several interests with several requirements. Tight budgets typically leave very little financial leeway, so headteachers and school administrations need reassurance that any solution they deploy will not only work but also be put to use – usability and consequently user acceptance is key for any solution they offer.

The solution? Cryptshare!

This is precisely where Cryptshare comes into play. Cryptshare secures the communication between contact partners and facilitates the encrypted exchange of information, with no file size limits for attachments or restrictions for file types. Text files, audio files, photos, or videos – with Cryptshare, files of any type can be sent and received securely. Data is not siphoned off to be used for unknown purposes in foreign countries because it remains solely with the communication partners, ensuring data privacy and compliance. To top it off, teachers, parents, and pupils can communicate with a familiar and popular medium that everyone already has: email.

For Cryptshare, ease of use has always been key: Users do not require time-consuming or cost-intensive training but can start straightaway. Schools and external users do not need their own IT infrastructure, nor is it necessary to create or manage user accounts.
And the best part:
For public schools, we offer Cryptshare licenses free of charge!

Why are we doing this?

For most of us at Cryptshare it has been a while since we went to school ourselves.

However, the Cryptshare team does not only consist of former pupils but also of many parents of school-aged children. We know first-hand about the challenges for schools in the digital age to communicate securely, internally as well as externally.

Especially when pupils are concerned, the exchange of information must be secure and reliable for all parties involved.

We also understand that, particularly in times where budgets keep getting tighter, it is not easy to keep up with the developments of modern technology while complying with all legal requirements and data privacy regulations.

 

We are an owner-managed small business with its headquarters in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.

As experts for secure communication with nearly 20 years of experience and over 4 million satisfied users from all over the world, we want to provide public schools with our solution free of any license fees.

We strongly believe that schools should be able to use their budget for the education of children – not for having to secure their communication.

The Cryptshare team will take care of that.

We want to contribute and give back – to empower schools to communicate securely with anyone they need to.

Teachers encounter the challenges that modern technology presents to the security of communication and data privacy at schools, particularly with the use of messenger services, on a daily basis.

However, in their everyday routine they are forced to make a decision: either they chose data privacy and disregard the communication tools that parents and pupils make such avid use of, which forces them to remain on the sidelines, or they decide in favour of using the same tools their pupils do, whereby they are likely in violation of data privacy regulations.

Essentially, teachers face the unenviable choice of stifling communication or not complying with legal provisions, simply because they are not provided with a practical, workable solution.

For viable solutions that offer compliance with data privacy regulations and that compete with messenger services such as WhatsApp, usability and convenience for users are key.

Otherwise, there is little to no chance that they will actually be applied by users. Given full schedules and ever-growing demands for teachers, employing complex and time-consuming solutions that require extensive training it is not an option.  

Digitisation has increased the requirements for teachers to prepare pupils for their future challenges. But how are teachers supported and empowered to meet digitisation’s challenges?

How can they be enabled to communicate securely and in compliance with data privacy regulations?

They need a solution with great usability that all contact partners can apply easily and reliably, without expensive and time-consuming training for teachers and without much technical effort.

The solution? Cryptshare!

This is precisely where Cryptshare comes into play. Cryptshare secures communication between contact partners and facilitates the encrypted exchange of information, with no file size limits for attachments or restrictions for file types. Text files, audio files, photos, or videos – Cryptshare enables files to be securely sent and received. Data is not siphoned off for unknown purposes in foreign countries; it remains solely with the respective communication partners.
With Cryptshare, data privacy and crucial compliance requirements are ensured. To top it off, teachers, parents, and pupils can communicate with a familiar and popular medium that everyone already has: email.

Cryptshare is extremely easy to use, no time-consuming or cost-intensive training is needed, and users can start using it straightaway. Schools do not need their own IT infrastructure nor do they need to create or manage user accounts.
And the best part:
For public schools, we offer Cryptshare licenses free of charge!

Why are we doing this?

For most of us at Cryptshare it has been a while since we went to school ourselves. However, the Cryptshare team does not only consist of former pupils but also of many parents of school-aged children. So we know about the challenge for teachers in the digital age to communicate securely and not lose track of pupils and teachers. Especially where information about pupils is concerned, exchanges must be secure and reliable for all parties involved. We also understand that, particularly in times when budgets keep getting tighter, it is not easy to keep up with the developments of modern technology while complying with all legal requirements and data protection provisions.

We are an owner-managed small business in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. As experts for secure communication with nearly 20 years of experience and over 4 million satisfied users from all over the world, we want to provide public schools with our solution free of any license fees. It is our strong belief that schools should be able to use their budget for educating children – not for having to secure their communication. The Cryptshare team will take care of that. We want to contribute and give back – to empower schools to communicate securely with anyone they need to.

For the communication between parents and teachers, however, using messenger services such as WhatsApp is precarious. Naturally, for parents it is enormously important that their children’s data is protected. They want to be able to determine who receives data of their children, what data they receive, and for what purposes data is stored and processed. Parents also want to be able to make use of their right to determine when such data is to be erased. Any viable communication solution must fulfil these requirements. At the same time, parents need to be able to have regular exchanges with schools regarding their children at any time and without any barriers. For doing so, a communication solution needs to be employed that everyone is already familiar with, that has great usability, and that can be used for sending messages and files of any type, ideally without file size restrictions.

Today, whatever works most conveniently trumps everything else and communication is often conducted via messenger services, even if schools have guidelines that demand a different approach.
Parents are well aware of the issues regarding data privacy, but if schools are unable to offer a secure communication solution, easy and convenient workarounds are pursued to not lose touch with pupils. In these instances, however, data privacy typically falls by the wayside. For parents, reconciling workable communication with data security in real life has not been possible in lack of suitable solutions.

What should a communication solution ideally look like?

For alternatives to messenger services such as WhatsApp that offer compliance with data privacy regulations, usability and convenience for users are key. If those are not ensured, there is little to no chance that they will actually be used. Besides, parents should not have to deal with complex and time-consuming solutions that require extensive training so they can actually use them. 

How can parents be enabled to communicate with schools and teachers securely and in compliance with data privacy? They need a solution with great usability and that all contact partners can apply easily and reliably, without expensive and time-consuming training and without much technical effort.

The solution? Cryptshare!

This is precisely where Cryptshare comes into play. Cryptshare secures communication between contact partners and facilitates the encrypted exchange of information, with no file size limits for attachments or restrictions for file types. Text files, audio files, photos, or videos – Cryptshare enables files to be securely sent and received. Data is not siphoned off for unknown purposes in foreign countries; it remains solely with the respective communication partners.

With Cryptshare, data privacy and crucial compliance requirements are ensured. To top it off, teachers, parents, and pupils can communicate with a familiar and popular medium that everyone already has: email.

Cryptshare is extremely easy to use, no time-consuming or cost-intensive training is needed and users can start using it straightaway. Schools do not need their own IT infrastructure nor do they need to create or manage user accounts.
And the best part:
For public schools, we offer Cryptshare licenses free of charge! This includes any communication from parents with schools and teachers.

Why are we doing this?

For most of us at Cryptshare it has been a while since we went to school ourselves. However, the Cryptshare team does not only consist of former pupils but also of many parents of school-aged children. So we know about the challenge for teachers in the digital age to communicate securely and not lose track of pupils. Especially where their information concerned, exchanges must be secure and reliable for all parties involved. We also understand that, particularly in times when budgets keep getting tighter, it is not easy to keep up with the developments of modern technology while complying with all legal requirements and data protection provisions.

We are an owner-managed small business in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. As experts for secure communication with nearly 20 years of experience and over 4 million satisfied users from all over the world, we want to provide public schools with our solution free of any license fees. Schools should be able to use their budget for the education of children – not for having to secure their communication. The Cryptshare team will take care of that. We want to contribute and give back – to empower schools to communicate securely with anyone they need to.

Communication at schools takes place on many levels and by using a variety of tools. It is clear, however, that due to technological development the contact between schools and parents has increasingly shifted into the digital space. Today, exchanging messages and files is possible in a quick and easy way. However, this is rarely done in compliance with data privacy.

A solution that has the ability to really change this needs to meet these requirements in several respects:

legal provisions regarding data privacy need to be fulfilled, usability and user acceptance needs to be high – and the implementation and management of this solution must neither be cost-intensive nor time-consuming.
So far, no suitable alternative that fulfils all these requirements and is going to be accepted long-term by all parties involved has been found, so a uniform communication solution for the use at schools has not been implemented yet.

The solution? Cryptshare!

This is precisely where Cryptshare come into play: security for communication is combined with ease of use for users in a way that allows technical support to be reduced to the bare minimum. Cryptshare secures communication between contact partners and it facilitates the encrypted exchange of information, with no file size limits for attachments or restrictions for file types. Text files, audio files, photos or videos, with Cryptshare files of any type can be sent and received securely. Data is not siphoned off to be used for unknown purposes in foreign countries, they remain solely with the communication partners.
Therefore, data protection and compliance are ensured and for the communication between parents, teachers, and pupils, and a familiar and popular medium can be used that everyone already has – email.

The rollout of Cryptshare can be concluded in just a few hours, no internal IT infrastructure or software installation is required. No user accounts have to be created or managed and S/MIME and PGP are not necessary. With Cryptshare, money, effort, and costs for the management of accounts or keys become obsolete.

With the Cryptshare SMS gateway feature of the Outlook add-in, transfer passwords for the exchange of confidential information can be comfortably sent via text.

Cryptshare QUICK Technology enables a permanent secure connection for regular exchanges between communication partners. After activating QUICK with just a few clicks, transfers are automatically secured with passwords; users do not need to take care of exchanging passwords anymore. Administrators are not required; neither for activating QUICK nor for using it.

It has always been key for us to make the use of Cryptshare as easy as possible, which shows in its seamless integration into familiar work environments such as Office 365 & Office and IBM Notes. Users do not need time-consuming or cost-intensive training but can start straightaway with their secure communication. Cryptshare can be easily and conveniently used with all common browsers in a web application, on the go and without app installations.
For these reasons (and many more) Cryptshare has had a very high user acceptance for years.
And the best part:
For public schools, we offer Cryptshare licenses free of charge! This includes any communication of parents with schools and teachers.

Why are we doing this?

For most of us at Cryptshare it has been a while since we went to school ourselves. However, the Cryptshare team does not only consist of former pupils but also of many parents of school-aged children. So we know about the challenge for teachers in the digital age to communicate securely and not lose track of pupils and teachers. Especially where information about pupils is concerned, exchanges must be secure and reliable for all parties involved. We also understand that, particularly in times when budgets keep getting tighter, it is not easy to keep up with the developments of modern technology while complying with all legal requirements and data protection provisions.

We are an owner-managed small business in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. As experts for secure communication with nearly 20 years of experience and over 4 million satisfied users from all over the world, we want to provide public schools with our solution free of any license fees. Schools should be able to use their budget for the education of children – not for having to secure their communication. The Cryptshare team will take care of that. We want to contribute and give back – to empower schools to communicate securely with anyone they need to.