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!