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Knowledge | 3 min read

3 Important Tips for Remote Student Credentialing

Date published: June 29, 2020

We need to plan ahead. The flexibility to work remotely is becoming crucial to most businesses. And while there are some industries where this is impossible, credentialing nursing and allied health students for their clinical placements is an area that is perfect for a remote work environment.

But while you begin your transition, there are some essential points you should keep in mind. Our experts at Davin Workforce Solutions have had years of experience with remote credentialing, so we turned to them to bring you 3 Important Tips for Remote Student Credentialing.

Secure Yourself
Just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean that you’re no longer a target for hackers. Quite the opposite, we’ve seen an increase in cyber-attacks and phishing schemes with the current crisis. You can’t let your guard down just because you’re working remotely.

Make sure that your virus protection software and your operating system are up-to-date with all of the latest patches or releases. New vulnerabilities are discovered every day and waiting on an update can be the difference between falling victim to a cyberattack or not.

You should also continue to be vigilant with phishing emails. Not being able to wander over to your co-worker’s desk may increase the number of emails you receive, precisely what bad actors are hoping to happen. While an email from Chad asking for a social security number may have seem weird in the office, now may feel plausible. Don’t let your guard down. Question every suspicious email.

These tips should extend to anyone on your network.  You should only use secure, password-protected networks (no coffee shop WI-FI, please).  Anyone else using your network, whether it’s housemates or family member, needs to be just as conscious of their online habits, keep virus protections up-to-date, and carefully monitor all devices they use on the network.  A phone, tablet, or game system can be a gateway for hackers to enter your network.  Have everyone on your network be mindful.

Secure Private Information
Paper documents are secure from hacking. They can just be handed to the right person. (That being said, if not secured properly, they are easier to get than digital files, but that topic is for another day.) With remote work, documents must be sent online, one way or another. But what’s the best way to secure private information while working remotely?

First off, don’t send private information through an unsecured email. That’s like asking a hacker to nab any information they’d like.  Make sure to use encryption software for your emails.

The same goes for shared spreadsheets. A lot of clinical programs use spreadsheets to organize the massive amount of information needed from students. While still potentially problematic on a campus server (depending on server encryption levels), it’s still better than emailing the file to a co-worker. If you do need to send it, use encryption software and password protect the documents, though we do suggest moving away from shared spreadsheets since there is little accountability if information is accidentally deleted or changed.

Using secure credentialing software is another way to ensure the security of your students’ information.  Software, like DAVIN, facilitates the secure upload, access, and storage of documents and private information, thus eliminating many of the issues that arise from managing documents during remote work.

Secure Others
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. This phrase is no truer than with company-wide cyber-security. One wrong click can open up the whole system. This vulnerability is slightly side-stepped with remote work, but it also opens up a whole new world of vulnerabilities. It’s essential to make sure that anyone else who has access to private information holds themselves to the same standards.

This starts with limiting access to only those who need access to the files. This can be accomplished with permissions and passwords (which can be set automatically with credentialing software). The fewer people who have access, the fewer outlets hackers have available.

But it really does only take one. So, education is key. We cover this more in-depth in our blog about phishing schemes (which you can read here), but implementing a way to keep your fellow co-workers up-to-date with all the tactics used is an excellent step towards securing your students’ information.

You should also ensure that your students know the best ways to submit their credentials and private information securely. Having a secure portal and guidelines will ensure that they don’t accidentally open their own information up to potential theft.

Planning, using the right tools and processes, and being open to change will go a long way to helping you succeed in your transition to remotely credentialing your students’ documents.  

If you have any questions or want to explore how a credentialing software can help you, feel free to contact us here.

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