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The COVID-19 pandemic forever changed the world. The virus’ rapid spread forced federal and local governments to enact quarantine mandates. On March 11, 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2022) announced COVID-19 as a pandemic. Two days later the United States declared an official nationwide emergency. Institutions were required to shut down and persons deemed non-essential participated in quarantine. Remote working became the standard, thus affecting all aspects of individual lives and institutions, especially education. Primarily in-person universities and colleges across the world scrambled to address the COVID-19 health concerns, comply with local shutdown rules, and attempt to continue providing an education to millions of students. Having no other option, faculty and other instructors were apprehensively thrust into the world of solely online teaching and learning (Paris et al., 2021). Instructors became resourceful in their techniques to quickly provide content online for their students. Unfortunately, this massive shift left little room to assess student information privacy and security concerns in a new non-traditional online environment. Easy-to-use and free teaching tools were adopted without these considerations. After two years, institutions can reflect on compromises made to data privacy and security in response to the COVID-19 crisis, particularly since a fully online presence opened some institutions to hacking vulnerabilities. Moving forward, students, instructors, administrators, and information technology staff should have a seat at the table when outlining privacy and security policies, during educational technology tool selection, and ensuring safe online learning.



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