In the last 12 months, schools have increasingly become targets of cyber security hacks. In one case, hackers accessed a school’s system via a link in an email, and held all of the information saved on their system to ransom for £100,000. In other cases, hackers have spoofed a user’s email address to ask their School Business Manager to change their bank account details, diverting their pay from the genuine bank account to the hackers’ account.
We are working on a number of projects behind the scenes to help all of our systems stay secure, but we also need every individual working in school to take responsibility for the security of their own information. There are a number of very quick, easy things you can do right away to prevent you becoming a target or a victim of hacking.
If you have any questions or concerns about your passwords or security in general, please email Kyra (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will be happy to help.
Do not use the same password for any systems in school that you use outside of school. If your password gets stolen or leaked from your personal email address, it is much easier for it to be used to access school systems. If you are using the same password in school at the moment, please change it urgently
Do not use the same password for more than one system. If you are using the same password to log in to your laptop, log in to your emails, and log in to SIMS then you are making the hackers’ lives 3 times easier! Please use one, strong password for each system you use inside school
Do not set a password to match a username. If a hacker accesses a username, and it matches the password, then they are in! Make sure your passwords are unique to each other, and any usernames you have
Think Before You Link
Be careful with links. Please make sure that you are certain a link is safe before clicking on it. If you’re not certain, don’t click on it or forward it. Ask your School Business Manager or Computing Lead to look at the link with you to make sure it is safe. The majority of hacking occurs through dodgy links that have been clicked on inadvertently, so you must take care to be vigilant. The video on the right only 2 minutes long, and gives some very simple and clear advice on what to look out for in emails. Please take a moment to watch it
Training for School Staff
School staff are a critical part of a school’s IT security defence. The video on the right looks at what threats schools face and gives tips on good cyber hygiene that can help you improve your school’s cyber resilience.