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

  • What Do You Know About Cybersecurity?

    Posted by Susan Dupre at 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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  • Beware of Offers to "Fix" Your Computer

    Posted by Susan Dupre at 4/12/2017 6:00:00 AM

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning consumers about con-artists--scammers--who are sending pop-up computer warnings or making phone calls that offer unnecessary and often harmful tech support services.

    One scammer actually sent spam emails falsely claiming that the FTC had hired them to remove problem software.  As of today, the lawsuit filed by the FTC against this scammer has resulted in the court ordering the defendent to shut down his websites and phone numbers, stop claiming he is affiliated with the FTC, and inform current customers that he is not affiliated with the FTC.

    If you received one of those email messages, the FTC want to hear about it.

    If you get a pop-up, a call, or an email that contains an urgent message about a virus on your commputer, just STOP. The FTC's advice: "Don't click any links, don't send any money, and don't give anyone control of your computer.  The person behind the message probably wants access to your computer to grab your data, install malware, or sell you unnecessary services."  Please report these contacts to the FTC's Complaint page

    Check out this short video that you can share with your family. 

     

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