While our highest purpose and goal as schools to support students with learning in order to prepare them to follow their passions and be ready for successful futures, keeping students safe is also core to the mission of schools. Today, part of this is ensuring that student data is also safe and secure. The number one threat to student data today in Maine Township High School District 207 is via social engineering, typically through phishing attacks in which users are tricked into giving up their username and password for their account.
Once a malicious individual or organization has access to a student or staff member’s username and password, that can be used to access the account and collect the information in it as well as to further spread the attack.
Becoming aware of the dangers of phishing is as important for personal safety and student safety today as is knowing how to drive safely and being sure to lock one’s doors at home. Previously, this post offered tips for avoiding phishing attacks on The Maine Way. Additionally, in light of the worldwide Google Docs “Sharing” phishing attack, Wired has published this article that details how to avoid falling victim to phishing.
Additionally, as a community of users of the web, people can help one another avoid phishing using built-in tools in Gmail. Today, when Gmail detects that there may be an issue with a particular message, it will display warning icons and messages, including the fish hook pictured here. As end users, when you identify an email as suspicious or spam, you can also alert Google to that by marking the message as spam as pictured below in Gmail on the left and Google Inbox on the right.
The more quickly that more users mark messages as spam, the more quickly Google is able to make adjustments and protect other users from seeing the message as it is diverted in to the spam filter automatically.
In any event in which your password may be compromised, please change it as quickly as possible. Changing one’s password is always the safest course of action. Directions on how to change your Maine207.org password can be found here.