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Online Access

Zoom

Zoom services seem to be down as well. Zoom is currently working for some, but not others.

Google Services

lease note that Google Services were down from roughly 06:30 (as reported by Google) until around 07:31. The outage impacted ALL of Google’s services (include Gmail, Drive, Chat, etc).

Google Contacts seems to still be experiencing issues.

Zoom Phishing Scam

Please be aware that there is a phishing scam currently going around that pretends to come from Zoom. The scammer will use Zoom branding. The scam will ask you to click on a link that because “you Zoom account has been suspended, click here to reactivate”, “please activate your account”, or “you missed a meeting, click here to see the details and reschedule”.

These are all phony links that will lead to a fake Zoom login page. This login page is designed to get you to enter your user name and password. Scammers will use this information to log in to other services and platforms as well.

The scammers will also attempt to install malware on your computer.

Avoid getting Scammed

Don’t click on anything! (This includes links, photos, attachments, and files). If you feel that this might be real, type the URL yourself in the URL bar, use a link on the Dearborn Public Schools homepage, or a Bookmark that you have created.

Always remember to double-check the sender address. Look carefully at the sender address as we are seeing return email addresses that closely mirror real email addresses. Also, please remember that phones are an even bigger attack vector. Return email addresses are harder to see. Users on phones tend to be more distracted and in a hurry.

These steps should be followed for all email. Since we use email for just about everything, users are used to just clicking on links. Although convenient, it makes for behavior that is easy for the bad guys to exploit.

Holiday Online Safety

shopping cart with a sign that says "online shop"

“It’s Holiday Season for the bad guys too! But not the way you might think. They go into scam-overdrive mode. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the busiest online shopping days and the bad guys are planning to get rich with your money. So, here are this year’s Top 10 Holiday Cybersecurity Alert Tips:

  1. Keep all devices up to date with basic security measures to lessen your chance of becoming the victim.
  2. Only connect to known Wi-Fi networks; beware of network names that have typos or extra characters.
  3. Use strong, unique passwords on all accounts. This is a good time to update passwords! (Even better, utilize a Password Manager).
  4. Be safe on all social media; don’t overshare and take the time to review your privacy settings on the platforms you use.
  5. Keep an eye on your credit card statements, bank accounts, and monitor your credit report regularly.
  6. Be careful with messages regarding shipping changes. Always use official channels to stay updated.
  7. Watch out for holiday greeting cards that may not be the sender you think! Don’t open these unless you’re certain you can trust who they came from.
  8. Pay close attention to the websites you visit and shop on. It’s safest to only use those you trust.
  9. Be wary of ads, giveaways, and contests that seem too good to be true. These run rampant during the holiday season!
  10. Don’t give out too much information. No shopping site should need your social security number.

“Extra” Screen

thumb on a remote for a TV with the TV blurred in the background.

Having additional screen real estate can be very beneficial. One trick that many people have used is to utilize a TV as an extra screen.

Although this isn’t applicable to everyone, almost all more recent TV’s have an HDMI input. Connecting an HDMI cord from a Chromebook to a TV means that the TV can be used as a second monitor. Another option is to utilize a Chromecast.

Again, this isn’t a solution for everyone. However, for some, this can be an easy “game changer” with things that they already have.

Virtual Meetings on Chromebooks

Google has identified an issue with Chrome OS 85 and virtual meetings (Zoom, Google Meet, Bluejeans, WebEx, etc). This issue causes freezing, audio degradation, video degradation and connectivity issues.

Cause:

Google has confirmed that OS Version 85 enabled security mitigation patches that caused an approximate 30% increase in CPU utilization causing Virtual Meeting issues.

Resolution:

Google will roll back the security mitigation patches within OS 85. This update will be pushed to users

Resolution Timeline:
OS Build: Due EOD Friday, 9/25
Testing: 9/25 thru 9/28
Phased Rollout: Starting Monday, 9/28
100% roll out anticipated by Mid-week or 10/1.

Cyber Security

padlock through a paper contract

Please be aware that we are seeing additional phishing emails and malware attempts.

COVID-19 has led to an increase in attacks on schools. With schools using more and more online tools, the bad guys are attacking. Simply spending more time on computers can lead to “security fatigue”.

Malware and phishing attacks can be devastating.

A couple of tips:

  • Your principal isn’t in a “meeting” right now and needs you to respond to with your contact information.
  • Be wise about plugging in drives to a computer that you’ve taken home.
  • Look at the REAL from address in emails.
  • If something “seems wrong” or odd, slow down and be careful.

We have taken appropriate security measures to help protect the district. This is a moving target, so we are constantly updating our policies and practices. At times, this means that you may be restricted in what you can install. This impacts district accounts using Google extensions and PC devices specifically.

FERPA Resource

FERPA (Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a federal law that all educators must follow. Many teachers are familiar with the general guidelines when posting material within a building. FERPA must be followed in online situations as well. As we move to more and more online materials, all educators must follow FERPA.

There are a couple of acronyms to be familiar with: FERPA and PII.

  • FERPA – Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act
  • PII – Personally Identifiable Information
  • COPPA – Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
  • PPRA – Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment

Below is nice graphical flowchart that should be considered BEFORE signing students up for an account with any outside vendor.

Application Vetting: An Overview
Understand what data the
Provider collects, uses, and
discloses, and how the data is
protected. 
Review the agreements that
outline the responsibilities
between the Provider and
the School System. 
Communicate the decision
to teachers, students and
parents.
Is Student Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Being Disclosed to a Provider?
Will the Provider Collect the PII Directly from Students?
Is Parental Consent Required to Disclose PII To The Provider?
 Will the PII be used for Marketing Purposes, and not for the School Purpose?
Does the Provider’s Privacy Policy Provide Clear Information About Collection and Handling of PII?
Does the Provider’s Privacy Policy, Terms (or Contract) Provide Sufficient Assurances to Make an Informed Selection?

The original document is posted on the CoSN site.

Chrome Slow?

If your Chromebook or Chrome browser seems to be running slow, there is a simple task you can do to speed it up.

Clearing the cached images can make a BIG difference in using Google Chrome.

To clear the cache:

  1. Click on “More” options (Customize and control Google Chrome) – This is the 3 vertical buttons the far right of the URL bar.
  2. Select “More tools”
  3. Select “Clear Browsing Data”
  4. Select “Cached images and files”
  5. Click on “Clear data”

Please note that there are other options to clear data out (like “Cookies and other site data”). These can also be cleared, but you will have to sign back into any sites that you visit.

You may want to do this daily if it helps improve your browsing experience.

FREE RESA PD Session

Flyer of RESA PD on Google Applied Digital Skills

This Thursday, May 7th, RESA is hosting a professional learning opportunity on Google’s Applied Digital Skills, a free project based curriculum that gets students creating and collaborating as they practice their digital skills. The curriculum is geared toward middle school and up, but there are lots of ideas that you can glean from the lessons and modify for elementary students. The attached flier contains the times the workshop is being offered along with the registration information. There is no cost to participate.

Registration Link

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