Schools are prohibited by law from spying on their students through school-issued laptops or webcams. However, there have been several reported cases of schools or colleges installing spyware or requiring parents to install spyware on their children’s devices.
Remember the WebcamGate scandal that led to the Robbins federal class action lawsuit against the Lower Merion School District? Well, it ended up with the school paying a staggering $ 610,000 to settle this lawsuit after they were caught secretly spying on students in the privacy of their homes
The school authorities did this using webcams embedded in laptops. More than 66,000 images were taken in secret.
Why do schools install spyware on school laptops
School-loaned laptops are often available at heavily subsidized prices, sometimes even free. However, they involve unresolved ethical issues and real costs.
Some software and programs installed to spy on students automatically send their data to the cloud, and often without their knowledge or the consent or consent of their families.
This technology also allows school authorities or teachers to spy on any student on campus or at home, whether they are using computers or not. Teachers can see what students are doing by viewing their screens without their knowledge and consent, but they can also see how much time students are spending on certain websites or school assignments.
School principals can also view teachers’ laptop screens and see how much time they spent browsing the web, the sites they visit, and more.
Does the laptop your school issued contain spyware?
Instead of waiting for your school principal to accuse you of “misconduct” at home, you can check your school computer for spyware and remove it using a few tips that we share with you below.
Check download for spyware or suspicious software
- Go to the search bar on your computer, type Msconfig, and click System Configuration.
- Click the Startup tab and then click Open Task Manager.
- If you find any suspicious program or software that is taking up a significant amount of your computer’s memory, temporarily stop its processes and then search the Internet to make sure it is malicious. If so, remove it.
Check TEMP folder for spyware
The TEMP folder helps your computer easily open a website or program, but malware often lurks inside the folder. So, if you see suspicious files, delete them.
- Open File Explorer and click on the local C: drive.
- Click Windows and locate the TEMP folder.
- You can always delete everything in the TEMP folder to make sure the malware is also removed. It just stores temporary data, so it won’t do any significant damage to your computer’s system.
Check for spyware from Control Panel
- Click Start> Control Panel> Programs.
- Scroll through Programs to see if there are any unfamiliar programs. If there is a strange looking program, you can check its name with a search engine to see if it is legal or not. If it’s spyware, right-click and select Uninstall.
Run a virus / malware scan
If your laptop has powerful antivirus or anti-malware software installed, run a scan so it can find and detect any malware and scan for spyware on the system. Other malware such as Remote Access Trojans (RATs), keyloggers, or VNC apps used to spy on you can also be detected by scanning.
Make sure your Security Software Update Utility has the latest definitions to help you update your malware definitions for a successful scan.
Using software to uninstall resilient programs
Use software to remove hard programs
If you come across stubborn programs that refuse to uninstall from Program Manager, download and install third-party software and run it in Safe Mode to remove spyware or monitoring software. RevoUninstaller or PC Decrapifier might be a good tool for this.
If you find that your school laptop is being used illegally to track you, one of the best options you have, after you have gathered conclusive evidence, is to check your claims with the police.