CyberSAFE
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    St. Mary Parish CyberSAFE Program

    As part of the district's continuing efforts to help parents, students, employees, and community members stay safe online, the Technology Department offers weekly suggestions that we hope help maintain Secure Access For Everyone to online applications and content. 

SMP CyberSAFE

  • The FTC Does NOT Need Your Bank Info

    Posted by Susan Dupre on 6/6/2017

    No one is exempt from falling victim to online impersonation, even the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.

    Nat Wood of the Consumer & Business Education division of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a warning today about spam email that appears to be coming from Maureen Ohlhausen, the acting chairman of the FTC.

    It's not.

    It's actually a phishing email that askes for your bank account information on the pretense that you will receive money from a government settlement with Western Union. 

    If you receive this email, don't respond OR click any links.  Simply forward it to the FTC at spam@uce.gov.

    Wood assures readers that the FTC does work to shut down scams, but it "will never ask for money, your Social Security number, or any banking information."  Yes, there is a settlement with Western Union in the works, but if you are entitled to a refund, you will receive a check via traditional mail.

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  • What Do You Know About Cybersecurity?

    Posted by Susan Dupre on 4/19/2017 6:00:00 AM

    The Pew Research Center has created a quiz to measure what people know about basic online issues. Before you read any further, I invite you to take the quiz yourself:  http://www.pewinternet.org/quiz/cybersecurity-knowledge/   (By the way, we've talked about all of these issues as part of this CyberSafe blog.)

    This quiz points out how complicated cybersecurity is. Only 20% of the initial 1055 respondents answered more than 8 of the 13 questions correctly, and only 1% received a perfect score. 

    According to the survey's initial results, most people could recognize that a strong password includes upper and lower case letters, numerals, and does not contain a word in the dictionary.  Likewise, most people know that public WiFi--even when it is password protected--is not safe for sensitive activities like banking.

    So, where are the gaps in our knowledge?

    • Only half of the respondents could correctly identify a phishing attack.
    • Nearly 60% did not realize that an internet service provider (ISP) can still see the sites they access when they are using "private browsing" mode.
    • Only 33% knew that the "s" in any URL beginning with "https://" indicates that the traffic on that site is encrypted to protect data.

    Equally concerning, a significant number of respondents answered "not sure" to many questions.  More than 50% of respondents were "not sure" about the private browsing questions and the "https://" question, and 70% or more were not sure what a botnet or a VPN connection could do.

    Is there a difference in responses based on age or education? Yes, those who had higher levels of education did slightly better on the quiz. However, on several questions, users aged 65 and older were just as knowledgeable as those ages 18-29.  In fact, 18-to 29-year olds answered 6 out of 13 questions correctly, while those 65 or older answered 5 out of 13 correct answers. 

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