Latest Updates
Mar
17
URGENT NEWS! Virus Attack!
Posted by Jodi (Witte) Florence on 03-17-2017 10:55 AM
Please pay very close attention to this news! This is an urgent message!

We have experienced a very serious breach in at least one computer, along with our email system. Now some staff are receiving strange emails with hidden embedded images or files.
In order to keep our network and data safe, we are going to have to take immediate and serious action against all infections and compromised computers. This could result in a loss of your data if you have not properly backed up your documents. 
I urge everyone to take very seriously the emails Dr McGrath has sent out regarding protecting yourself.

  • BACKUP YOUR DOCUMENTS! Please, please, please make this a priority! Use a flash drive, CDs, or portable hard drive. If you do not have one of these, you can purchase flash drives at CVS or Freds. Backup all important files that you cannot live without, including photos, downloaded documents, and your desktop. Do not leave the flash drive or portable hard drive connected to your computer once you have your documents copied to the device. Your computer sees these devices as additional drives, and infection will spread to them also. 

  • BACKUP BEFORE THERE IS AN INFECTION Once your computer is infected with malware or ransomeware, it will be too late. 

  • DO NOT CALL ANY NUMBERS OR allow any software to lead you to contact anyone but our own in house tech support. Immediately disconnect from the internet and shut down computer. Place a work order immediately.

  • COVER CAMERAS with a small piece of solid color electrical tape or paper - this applies to laptops and any desktops that have built in cameras. YES! some malware can turn on your camera without your knowledge. This is especially important for the student computers. We don't want anyone watching our students. Only uncover the camera when you need to use it for Skype or other legitimate reasons. (if you are interested in reading a bit more about this, see the following article https://www.howtogeek.com/210921/how-to-disable-your-webcam-and-why-you-should/)

  • NEVER OPEN ATTACHMENTS from people you do not know or strange attachments even from those you do. First make sure that friend or colleague did send you that, and confirm that it is legit. It is very easy for malware to cloak the "Sent By" field, making that email look like it is coming from someone you know, when in reality it came from somewhere totally different. 

  • PUT IN A WORKORDER IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANYTHING STRANGE - Lets not take chances here. You can run Malwarebytes (download it free from malwarebytes.com if you do not have it already) on your own, just make sure you update the Malwarebytes software first before you scan. This is important because we need Malwarebytes to be able to find and clean the latest threats out there.
     
  • DO NOT USE SCHOOL COMPUTERS TO LOG INTO YOUR BANK OR OTHER PERSONAL FINANCIAL SITES - if the computer is infected or compromised with malware, you could be giving hackers or worse your bank login password or other personal identification information. It is safer to check your bank balance by using the bank app on your phone. Many viruses and malware can spread through the network, so one infected computer can turn into many, even if you weren't the one to get the infection in the first place. 

  • DON'T USE YOUR COMPUTER TO CHARGE YOUR PHONE - your phone acts just like a flash drive. You can spread an infection from one computer to another. 

  • DON'T ALLOW STUDENTS TO CHARGE THEIR PHONES USING SCHOOL COMPUTERS - this has been a big problem because students will plug their phone into multiple lab computers during a single day, often spreading malware and viruses from one computer to another. 

If everyone uses safe practices, and we attack infections immediately, we can keep our school data safe and secure. But we do need your help!
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Aug
13
Ticket Details: Creating, Prioritizing, Responding
Posted by Jodi (Witte) Florence on 08-13-2016 02:06 PM

Creating Tickets:

All repairs are done strictly through this ticketing system, not by phone call, email, or in person request in the hallway.

Please do not create tickets for other people. It is very important that over time everyone in the district eventually creates their own account within this system so that they can always be notified of the status of their repairs, so they can communicate and update tickets when more information is available, and so they can also receive the important technical news that is sent out via this system. If your computer is down, and you need to create a ticket please use a computer in the lab or the media center to submit that ticket.

Ticket Priorities:

Please help us by correctly prioritizing your tickets.

Emergency: This is a major problem, i.e., whole network goes down, and needs immediate action from all who can help.

High Priority: The user who reported the problem needs immediate help. There is no work-around for the problem, and the user cannot work until the problem is solved.

Medium Priority: The problem is affecting the user's work, but there is a work-around until the problem is solved.

Low Priority: The problem is annoying and should be fixed, but it is not time critical.

Responding to tickets:

When you are asked to respond to a ticket, please log in your account, click on My Tickets tab, and open the ticket you want to add a response to.  There is a button that will allow you to leave a reply. Our ticketing system allows for us to track all steps from the time you enter a new ticket until the time it is solved. You will always know what is going on with any of your tickets and our technology staff will always know when there is an update, whether from another tech or a change in what you initially reported. If you simply reply by email, this does not update your ticket and the tech does not see that when out in the field doing repairs. Please always respond to a ticket - don't email and do not create a new ticket for the same repair request! This is very important to the entire process.

Information, Information, Information:

The more detailed information you can include in your ticket, the better able we are to respond with the proper tools or parts, or if its a request, we are able to complete that request exactly as you want it, if we know exactly how you want it. If you leave out important information, such as your IP address when telling us your internet does not work, you are blocking us from a possible quick fix, or a clue as to exactly what we need to do. Please make sure you always include serial numbers, IP address, model and type, room # (yes people do forget to include this :), and then a detailed narrative of what the problem is, when it started, and any other information you can provide so that if we come fix the problem when you are not in your room, we still have enough information to get the job done right the first time.

In Summary - Always:

Submit your own tickets, prioritize them correctly, include as much info as possible for best response, and do log in to view status of your requests and to add additional relevant information directly to the ticket.


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Mar
25
Youtube and Streaming Music
Posted by Jodi (Witte) Florence on 03-25-2016 11:25 AM

The issue with the security certificate of youtube has been resolved and you are now able to use youtube again, without problems.

However....

We are getting many requests to open up Pandora. Streaming music will not be opened back up at this time. With hundreds of teachers and staff (and students) streaming music, we have a serious issue with our bandwidth and our network lags terribly during the day because of this. Streaming music interrupts and disrupts actual educational use of our network.

Until we have the capabilities in place to divide the student traffic from the teacher traffic, we just can't leave that open for everyone. We are working on a whole new network setup that will allow us to have totally different policies for teachers, but until that is in place, we ask that you please use another option to enjoy your music:
      A smart phone, ipod or mp3 player with speakers
      Bring CDs to play in your computer
      Listen to a radio

Thanks for your understanding!


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Feb
23
Our Biggest Problem - PuPs
Posted by Jodi (Witte) Florence on 02-23-2016 12:55 PM


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Feb
2
Backup of Data & Files – Why it is Important
Posted by Jodi (Witte) Florence on 02-02-2016 02:14 PM

I have been seeing a number of staff asking me to recover lost or damaged files lately. Some we can recover, many times we can't.

Having duplicate copies of your most important information saved in a remote location keeps it safe in case anything goes badly wrong with your computer.

 

When you think about it there are a number of ways files can be lost unexpectedly…

 

Computer crashes – always happen when you least need it, and can lead to data loss.

Virus Infection – aggressive malicious viruses can corrupt files and disable computers.

Hard drive failure - hard drives have a finite lifetime and can fail suddenly and without warning. The sudden death of a hard drive can cause the painful loss of months or years of irreplaceable files and the timing can be catastrophic – if this happens close to a work or school deadline it could be a nightmare scenario.

Physical computer damage – your files are more at risk if you use a laptop. Light and portable comes at the price of reduced durability. Laptops are sensitive and are easily damaged if dropped or have drinks spilled over them.

 

 

The bottom line is that if you value what’s kept on your computer, it’s wise to take steps to protect your information from sudden loss.  Work can be redone, but the loss of cherished files like family and travel photos is permanent.

Many users regularly back up their files to their computer hard drive, but in the event of a total computer breakdown this will not protect the information.  Saving data to a separate location makes far more sense, and can be easily done if you have an external hard drive, or a large-capacity flash drive to back up onto.

However this method is only as secure as the device you’re backing up to. When saving your files on physical devices, your backup device needs to be kept in a different location than your computer. And make sure you are regularly adding new data to your flash drive backup. once a month may not be enough....if you create new documents all the time, you probably want to consider daily or at the minimum weekly backups. 


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