Chelsea Public Schools - Bridge to Success

Stay updated on the best practices when it comes to sharing your data online and browsing safely. Here are some resources to help you to understand and to protect yourself and your data while taking advantage of online resources, while browsing the Web, while communicating through email, while visiting online social networks, etc.:

How to Spot Phishing Scams

Safety Tips from Google

"We know how important it is to protect and educate young people on using the Internet and want to provide all of our users with a safe experience." - Google

Passwords are the first line of defense against cyber criminals. It’s crucial to pick strong passwords that are different for each of your important accounts and it is good practice to update your passwords regularly. Follow these tips to create strong passwords and keep them secure.

Use a unique password for each of your important accounts like email and online banking

Choosing the same password for each of your online accounts is like using the same key to lock your home, car and office – if a criminal gains access to one, all of them are compromised. So don’t use the same password for an online newsletter as you do for your email or bank account. It may be less convenient, but picking multiple passwords keeps you safer.

Keep your passwords in a secret place that isn’t easily visible

Writing down your passwords isn’t necessarily a bad idea. But if you do this, don’t leave notes with your passwords in plain sight, on your computer or desk.

Use a long password made up of numbers, letters and symbols

The longer your password is, the harder it is to guess. So make your password long to help keep your information safe. Adding numbers, symbols and mixed-case letters makes it harder for would-be snoops or others to guess or crack your password. Please don’t use ‘123456’ or ‘password,’ and avoid using publicly available information like your phone number in your passwords. It’s not very original, and it isn’t very safe!

Try using a phrase that only you know

One idea is to think of a phrase that only you know, and make it be related to a particular website to help you remember it. For your email you could start with “My friends Tom and Jasmine send me a funny email once a day” and then use numbers and letters to recreate it. “MfT&Jsmafe1ad” is a password with lots of variations. Then repeat this process for other sites.

Safety Tips from Comcast

"Learn how to engage your kids in conversations regarding safe online behavior. Your active engagement and these resources can help you to engage in 'The Internet Talk,' how to manage your kids digital reputation and learn about parental controls." - Comcast

Safety Tips Adapted from the National Cyber Security Alliance

CPS will NEVER ask for your password in an email.

Protect Your Personal Information.

  • Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
  • Unique account, unique password: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.
  • NEVER GIVE OUT PERSONAL/ACCOUNT INFORMATION OR PASSWORDS IN AN EMAIL! Banks, tech departments, and account services will almost NEVER ask for you to email them your account information. If they do, you should call them.
  • Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site. Google, for example, has two-step login available, which allows you to further secure your account by sending login codes to your mobile phone.
  • If you write it down, keep it safe: If you keep a list of passwords, store it in a safe, secure place away from your computer. Don't put your password on a sticky note on your monitor! Avoid emailing your password to yourself or others.
  • Own your online presence: When available, set the privacy and security settings on websites and social networks to your comfort level for information sharing.

Connect with Care.

  • When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it's best to delete or if appropriate, mark as junk email.
  • Chances are very slim that someone innocent on another continent needs your help to liberate legal funds. If they did, they wouldn't be emailing the same request to everyone.
  • Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine. Publicly-available wi-fi is not necessarily secure. Wi-Fi hot spots are unsecured networks that hackers like to take advantage of. Everything--including your data, account information and passwords, Google searches, and finances--can become available to the hacker who wants it badly enough. You should treat all open networks as a security risk. Don't do any banking, online shopping, or other activities that would expose your private information. If you wouldn't be willing to share it with the public, it can wait until you get home.
  • Look for the "s" in https: When banking and shopping on your home computer, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with "https://" or "shttp://", which means the site takes extra measures (encryption) to help secure your information. "http://" is not secure.

Be Web Wise.

  • Stay current. Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online. Check trusted websites for the latest information, consult your technology team, and share with friends, family, and colleagues to encourage everyone to be web wise.
  • Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true, or ask for personal information.
  • Back it up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.
  • Back it up again: For your most important digital belongings, try to have more than one backup.

Be a Good Online Citizen.

  • Safer for me - more secure for all: What you do online has the potential to affect everyone - at home, at work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community.
  • Post only about others as you would have them post about you.
  • Help the authorities fight cyber crime: Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Federal Trade Commission (if it's fraud), and to your local law enforcement or state attorney general as appropriate.

Additional General Computing Safety Tips:

  • Harness built-in security tools. Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows have built-in security features. Enable your firewall (through security settings) and check off "Block all incoming traffic." This setting will keep most of the bad guys out. Disabling file sharing is also an important security measure if you do not need this functionality.
  • Keep your operating system and web browser updated. Updates often include improved security features and patches for anti-phishing, anti-malware, anti-virus, etc.

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