Technology Announcements, Programs and Services
Phishing/spam email awareness trainingEmployees are encouraged to participate in email awareness training to learn how to identify and deal with potentially harmful and malicious emails. These emails mislead employees into sharing login credentials or other sensitive information which may compromise personal records or employee identities.The training is available on the staff and administrator training app modules on Blackboard.
Sending encrypted emails with Outlook or Office 365
City Schools employees can now securely send encrypted emails to external or internal recipients by including the "BcpssSecure" tag in the subject line of an email. For example, if a subject line is written as "Update to dress code policy - BcpssSecure," the related email will automatically be encrypted and will require a pass code or secure sign-in to be read.
Click here for more information about sending and receiving encrypted emails.
For questions, contact the IT Service Support Center at 443-642-3000 or ServiceDesk@bcps.k12.md.us.
Reducing the risks of online shopping
At this time of year when online shopping hits its peak, it’s important to remember that when you shop online, you may attract phishing attempts, expose yourself to identity theft, and raise the risk of cyberattacks on network systems.
Please follow these recommendations to protect yourself at all times of year, and particularly in this season if you are increasing your online shopping activity.
- Manage your online privacy and passwords.During the online shopping season, you are more likely to open emails, create new accounts, share your email address, or reuse a password. This can result in your receiving and opening emails that you do not realize are malicious and you may then inadvertently share password information with cyber criminals. For this reason, you should use different passwords for different accounts. Note that your City Schools password should not be used for anything other than logging into your City Schools network accounts.
- Do not use your work email address when online shopping. Never register for online accounts with your City Schools email address. This discloses where you work and may increase your risk of being targeted and City Schools’ chance of being targeted by cyberattacks. Note that the district’s Internet Safety/Acceptable Use of Technology policy indicates that use of City Schools’ email system is limited to City Schools’ business purposes only.
- Use caution when opening unfamiliar emails or visiting unfamiliar websites. Opening suspicious emails and attachments, clicking on links to infected websites, or clicking on malicious advertising (“malvertising”) can introduce malware into your account and into the network. When in doubt, delete and don’t click.
- Use your home computer or personal mobile device for online shopping. Help protect the City Schools network by doing your online shopping at home or on your own mobile device. Note that the Internet Safety/Acceptable Use of Technology policy allows only limited personal use of district systems.
Scam alert [Posted: November 13, 2017]A phishing attempt is using a screen-shot of a City Schools web page to lure employees to enter their user ID and password (log-in credentials) in order to gain access to other sensitive information. This is a fictitious website. Individuals may email you this link in an email as an attempt to lure you into entering your credentials. This is simply a screen shot of our web page (with the hackers web address) in an attempt to gain private credentials. ITD has blocked this site, but all users must be mindful of web addresses when accessing City Schools resources from external devices or computers.As a reminder, ALWAYS access City Schools’ resources via our main page.
Baltimore City Public Schools does not solicit personal information (e.g., social security numbers) from employees over the phone or through email. Employees should not participate in any call which seeks this type of personal information or respond to any email seeking the same.
Click here for more information on how to protect yourself from these attacks.
If you see any suspicious activity, contact ITD Service at (443) 642-3000.
Phishing attacksEmail phishing attacks are attempts to steal personal information, such as usernames and passwords, and can appear to come from legitimate email accounts. Recent phishing messages have included the below examples:
- “This is your last warning. You will not be able to receive or send mail in the next 8 hours. Click here to increase your Outlook mail box quota limit.”
- “Your SD has exceeded its storage limit. CLICK HERE and click on FINISH to get more space or you won’t be able to send mail.”
- “Kindly send list of W-2 (tax and wages) copy of all employees for 2016 in PDF here.”
Because City Schools’ email servers have been experiencing increased phishing attacks, staff members are encouraged to delete all suspicious email messages and avoid opening attachments from unknown sources. They are also encouraged to watch this video, which outlines fraudulent emails and steps to take to ensure security. (Click here if you experience technical difficulties when viewing the video.)
How to Access and Use the Guest Wireless NetworkVisitors to City Schools schools and offices can now access the internet by connecting to the BCPSS-GUEST wireless network. After connecting to the network, visitors will be redirected to a registration page. Guest access requests will be approved by a City Schools staff member who is a wireless approver.
Using public wi-fi safelyLocal coffee shops, airports, or public gathering places that provide free wireless networks are convenient, but are often not secure. Follow these guidelines when using public wi-fi.
- Use caution and be aware that public wi-fi is inherently insecure. Laptops, smartphones, and tablets are all susceptible to wireless security risks.
- Treat all wi-fi links with suspicion and avoid connecting to unknown or unrecognized wireless access points.
- Use a virtual private network (VPN) when you connect to a public wi-fi network to encrypt all of your data that passes through the network.
- Avoid logging into websites which put your identity, passwords, financial or any other personal information at risk.
- Protect your devices against cyber attacks with a rigorous anti-malware and security solution and ensure that it’s updated regularly.
For more information, visit www.staysafeonline.org.
5-Digit DialingWhen placing phone calls between schools and district buildings and vice versa, callers may have to use 10 digits instead of 5 because district phones were recently upgraded. All schools can be reached using 10-digits.(Expires: Ongoing)