Beyond Contract Cheating: The Bigger Picture And What’s Really At Risk?

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Turn on the news and we’re likely to hear about another cheating scandal in higher-ed. Stories of students paying others to do their work is a common theme these days and appears to be a global threat. In fact, 31m students say it’s so easy, it can’t be wrong. The unfortunate reality is that contract cheating and academic dishonesty are big business, leading more individuals to cash in on the new “gold rush”.

A majority of institutions offering online programs are only monitoring students during testing events (mid-term and final), so whose doing the rest of the work? All a student needs to access their LMS and other information in most cases is an email address/user ID and password. Armed with this information, students can send out their credentials to third-party individuals or companies who are doing the actual work on the student’s behalf.

While contract cheating is not new, only in the past few years has it really made the headlines. We’re familiar with high-profile cases like the 2015 MyMaster scandal in Australia and countless cheating rings in places like The Middle East, India, Pakistan and Kenya but what if the damage went beyond cheating in an online class?

One problem that’s hardly ever discussed in higher-education are data breaches, but they happen more frequently than we might think. In many cases, all a hacker needs is a single username and password to find a back door into a network. Consider the following:

  1. Your student’s privacy is compromised – As part of the new rules tied to the 2020 Reauthorized Education Act, you as an institution must maintain and protect your student’s privacy. It’s fair to assume that individuals contracted to cheat likely not only have access to the student’s LMS but their personal information as well I.E. financial data, medical records, etc. See how fraudsters are using student information to steal money from your institution
  2. Data breaches just got a whole lot easier – According to a study done by Verizon, weak or stolen passwords are responsible for more than 80% of hacking-related breaches. In the case of online cheating, students are willing giving up their information to individuals they’ve probably never vetted. So, what starts as contract cheating can easily turn into something far more serious, FAST! – Click Here
  3. Your academic integrity is at stake – As an instructor, you want to maintain the integrity of your course and make sure nobody is cheating. That’s tough to do however when third-parties can get access to the entire class roster with little to no effort and contract their services out to other students
  4. BioSig-ID can kill two birds with one stone – By deploying BioSig-ID, you can put a stop to contract cheating, as well as, bigger picture issues like data breaches. Thanks to BioSig-ID’s patented technology we make it nearly impossible for students to cheat in online courses or for third-parties to gain access to your network. Our suite of AI-based forensics tools combined with our gesture biometrics can tell you who’s accessing your system, sniff out impostors AND catch fraud in real-time.

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