District Email Changes

posted Jan 25, 2017, 11:44 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jan 25, 2017, 11:44 AM ]

Stop Phishing Attacks

Earlier this month, a recent rash of spam emails from outside of the district led to some district email accounts being compromised and acting as SpamBots. Outlook Web Access was disabled, as that was the primary way the spammers were using the stolen user credentials for their attacks. 

The district was lucky not to have been blacklisted, but that could easily have happened and would have led to severe email disruptions for weeks or more. To help keep this from happening again:

  1. Arm yourself with knowledge. The best defense against falling victim is to be aware of how spammers are trying to trick you. Please review this information on phishing attacks. Familiarize yourself with the methods used so you can protect yourself. 
  2. Scrutinize any suspicious emails. We all must be careful to examine any emails that are received from an outside entity, especially emails requesting login information. The district’s Technology Services department will never send blanket emails requesting this information from you or ask you to click on a link and enter your credentials to re-validate them, update your settings, etc. If it were necessary to obtain your password they would contact you directly, preferably in person. If you do receive a request for your login that appears to be from Technology Services and you are suspicious, talk to your site Help Desk Tickets contactThose folks are in frequent communication with Technology Services and can help determine if a request you’ve received is legitimate. In the end the burden is on each of us to guard our login credentials. 
  3. [External] flags are being added to the subject line of emails from outside sources. Effective 1/26/2017, Technology Services will change our email system so that the subject line of any email coming from a source outside the district will begin with ”[External]”. That will help you know if a request for information or a link is coming to you from a source outside of the district, as opposed to coming from district personnel’s accounts. 


Email
Outlook Web Access & Exchange Email on Mobile Devices

Outlook Web Access will be restored on 1/26/17 but could easily be turned off again if Technology Services notices another uptick in spam coming from district accounts. This time we were lucky, but the next time could have disastrous results. Please remember: Eternal vigilance is the price of email access. J 

When Outlook Web Access was disabled, email service was still available on personal mobile devices via district Exchange accounts. Here are instructions for setting up your district Exchange account on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device.

District Wi-Fi Changes

The district’s wireless network (WiFi) has been upgraded for easier access and more licenses. All BPSD employees and all students in grades 9-12 (but NOT students below grade 9) can access the new BPS-SECURE WiFi network on their personal devices. 

To use it, go to the WiFi settings on your mobile device, select the BPS-SECURE network, and enter your usual network login username and password. A certificate will be downloaded to your device, which you must Trust. You’ll then be connected with that device whenever you are in WiFi range. 

BPSD employees and students in grades 9-12 should NOT try to use the BPS-GUEST or bpswireless networks. BPS-GUEST is for non-district users and can put district users into a loop. bpswireless is only used for district-owned devices.

Detailed instructions with screenshots on connecting to BPS-SECURE, etc. are online.
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