School USB stick loss exposes pupil data

The data of more than 1,000 pupils at a Kent school was exposed when an unencrypted memory stick was lost.

The stick held information on every pupil at Rochester Grammar School.

It included the names, years, school house, date of birth, email address and special educational needs of the pupils as well as target and attainment grades, and whether they speak English.

The school has apologised and and referred itself to the Information Commissioner’s Office.


Again I see data loss through poor self-control.

In these days of VPNs and remote working, there is no need to transfer data to USB sticks.

The same could be said for emailing such data home to be worked on, or saved to the work’s laptop. Keep it on the network, where it can be protected and backed up, and access it remotely.

If you must use USB keys, and there should be a very strong reason for that data to be take off the network in the first place, it should always be on a well-encrypted drive.

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