Virtual Exchange - Privacy and Security

It is important to remember that when using technology there are additional precautions and things you have to be aware of. Here, CIP has gathered some information about things you should consider when designing your Virtual Exchange opportunity. And more information can be found in this guide for online collaboration


  • What information are you asking your students to share with your VE partner? E.g. names, social media accounts, phone number, email address.
  • What information are your students collecting about their international partners? 
  • When designing projects keep in mind the different situations you will be putting students in. For example, some students may not be comfortable showing their background location in a video chat, some may not have access to a computer at home, and some may not want to share details about their personal life. 


  • Are there extra steps you can take to ensure the security of your students? For example, "Zoom bombings" have become more popular, however, there are ways to password protect your Zoom calls. 
  • If you are asking students to create an account to access a platform, such as Zoom, what is the privacy policy of Zoom? Terms of Service; Didn't Read is a website where they provide a brief overview of terms of service for popular sites and apps and could be a good place to start.
  • Does UofG have any requirements for the technology you are using?
  • Does the technology you are using have end-to-end encryption built in?


  • We have to ensure the safety of our students, our partners, and ourselves.
  • It is essential to lay out some ground rules or 'netiquette' at the beginning of your course. Remind students that the same rules that apply in person, still apply to their online interactions. 
  • Consider accessibility challenges that participants may have with the technology being used.
  • What are the rules, regulations, and laws of the country you are interacting with? There may be different expectations or rules regarding content/topics of conversation that are openly discussed in Canada, for example LGBTQ2IA+, abortion, etc.. Consider surveying participants before starting the course to help gauge the environment. However, keep in mind that participants may not be able to communicate what they cannot discuss, therefore, some background research may be pertinent.