October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM)

The Wayzata Public Schools Technology Department has taken many steps in the past few years to improve cyber security within the District.  We would like to take this time to share with you a few main topics related to NCSAM.

Did you know? According to a 2016 Raytheon survey, 86 percent of young adults think that keeping the Internet safe and secure is a responsibility we all share — up 4 points from 82 percent in 2015.

As digital citizens, we are getting better about consistently protecting ourselves, our devices, and our family and friends. However, the Internet is always “on,” so we must remain vigilant and continue to connect with care in order to protect our mobile devices — including laptops, tablets, smartphones, and wearable technology — as well as our personal information.

  • Protect your device.  WPS now has a system timeout requirement of 30 minutes.  This means that after 30 minutes of inactivity, the computer will activate its screen saver or go to sleep.  After this occurs the user’s password must     be entered to continue working on the system.  This prevents your system from being vulnerable to walk-ins if you leave your computer on while you are away from it.  This is a mandatory setting and cannot be changed.  To lock your computer quicker than 30 minutes, please close the screen if a laptop, or use “Ctrl-Alt-Del” if a Windows system or configure a screen saver hot corner if a Mac.

  • Use strong passwords or passphrases.  WPS requires all staff passwords to be a minimum of 16 characters.  This isn’t because we want to make your life hard, there is a good technical reason behind it.  For every character a password adds, it becomes exponentially more difficult for the bad guys to crack.  16 characters is the magic number where it leaps past current computing capability.  Additionally, make the password a phrase you can easily remember.  A password written down is NOT secure!  WPS staff must never share their password with anybody for any reason.  This is a basic expectation from all staff.

Please also take the time to view these two short videos about staying safe and secure online: