eLW Mag
eLearning Weekly Magazine


November 11, 2010

The eLearning Security Leak

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Written by: Eric Matas
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Words and images spread fast online. Internet 2.0 offers many tools for sharing a status update or image with a network, which can then share with a larger network, and when something goes viral, it seems that everybody knows.

In elearning, we are in the business of putting images together to train employees and clients. eLearning images make great screenshots for an elearner to leak to the ever disseminating web.

Now That's a Screenshot!

Engadget ran a piece with a screenshot from VZLearn, the LMS of Verizon Wireless. The training, for employees, revealed what the public did not yet know: that Palm Pre 2 training would only be assigned if Verizon intended to roll that out soon. Now, you can Google “screen shot leak” and see blog post after blog post about Windows 8 or or the next iPhone. For all we know, those screenshots are “leaked” on purpose for publicity.

But what potential leaks could happen at your company? Could a disgruntled employee post screenshots of your internal only or proprietary data?

I’ve worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Federal Reserve Bank. These companies have serious needs to protect information and reputations. The elearning we made was scrubbed and re-scrubbed to eliminate any potentially damaging information. Still, if an elearner had it out for a company like those, or  yours, they could print screen and leak in a 2.0 minute.

I don’t know if elearning designers and developers can spend too much time planning for the potential threat of a screenshot leak. But maybe that is a key part of the projects. And what about the LMS systems that house the elearning–are they safe?

If someone were hungry enough for a story or had a big enough grudge, they just might hack into an LMS to get more than a screenshot: the whole module. Is elearning a hot spot for internet security and corporate privacy?

Author: Eric Matas

Eric is the Managing Editor of eLW Mag. He works as an elearning specialist focused on iPad apps and media strategy. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and their five children.

About the Author

Eric Matas
Eric is the Managing Editor of eLW Mag. He works as an elearning specialist focused on iPad apps and media strategy. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and their five children.


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