Students concerned about university spying

They’re always watching. At least that’s what the majority of students think about campus administrators when using the internet.

Colleges have monitored student web activity for years.

Nearly 80 percent of college students in the U.S. and the U.K. say they are concerned that university authorities might be monitoring their online activities, and that they could face punishment for what the campus officials are finding.

That’s according to a survey conducted by security software company AnchorFree. The survey polled more than 1,200 students at 523 colleges across the two countries between May and June 2013.

Forty-five percent of respondents said they were at least “somewhat concerned” that university authorities might be monitoring their online activities, while 12 percent said they were “very concerned.”

Two out of 10 students said they were “extremely concerned.”

Students aren’t wrong to be suspicious. For better or for worse, colleges have been known to monitor internet activity of their students and faculty, both on and off campus.

Some universities pay up to $5,000 per year for a program called UDiligence, which keeps track of a college athlete’s social media presence. And last year, Harvard University found itself in hot water after the Boston Globe revealed the university had secretly searched staff eMail accounts following a cheating scandal.

Take our online privacy poll on Page 3, and see Page 2 for more about student internet privacy concerns.

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