Don’t Be a Victim of Phishing Attacks

Phishing scams are the number one threat seen by Bethel Technology Services. The damage from phishing scams can cost the district hundreds of hours in a single year. Damage from a phishing scam can compromise your personal information including your social security number, identity,  and bank account information. They can include computer viruses such as ransomware and bot viruses. Additional damage includes compromised email accounts, which can also lead to other compromised systems within the District. Please remember that Bethel policies necessitate staff responsibility for not sharing their passwords or responding to scams such as phishing emails. Continue reading

Device Specific Wireless Connection Instructions

Personal (not district owned devices) 802.11x devices that connect to our BSD-Secure network may require some extra tweaking to get connected. Bethel Technology Services does not support personal devices whatsoever, so much of this will require the owner of the device to make the adjustments to get connected to our network. Here is an overview of what personal device users may need to change on their system to connect properly.

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Personal Folders Available for Staff at Home

If you have a home computer that is running Windows version 8.1, 10, or newer, then you can set up Microsoft Work Folders and sync your Bethel “staffhome” folder on your home machine. Before you set up Work Folders, make sure you have enough hard drive space on your home machine to accommodate files in your staffhome folder. Once synced, you can edit files at home or at work and they will appear in both places. Continue reading

Wireless Rebuild a Success!

After several years of too many cooks in the kitchen so to speak, the decision to clean up the Bethel wireless network this summer was a no-brainer. Several days were set aside recently for some heads down, laser focused cleanup and re-configuration. In any enterprise wireless deployment, lessons learned from previous deployments serve to broaden a sysadmin’s knowledge which ultimately benefits the school district and community they serve. These lessons come to fruition in creating an easier-to-use, less confusing wireless access network.

As staff and students begin to arrive back to school this year, they will notice a single wireless network advertised district-wide, along with a selective network (only  Continue reading

Bethel Tech Blocks Bing

Recent changes by Microsoft to the Bing search engine enables students to override the safe-search settings in any browser, revealing images inappropriate for K12. This change forces us to block Bing entirely in our web filter. Staff that have Bing as their default search provider will need to change it to Google.

Please view these quick videos to change your corresponding browser default search settings.

Internet Explorer

Chrome

Changes to Deleted Items Folder (Email)

During the planning phase of migrating to Exchange 2013, a quick analysis of database usage revealed a whopping 52% sitting in user’s deleted items folders. Out of our 700+ GB of mail data, more than half of it was just sitting and not being cleared by the user. This is not surprising as many Outlook/Webmail users are not aware of mailbox maintenance procedures. In addition to the 52%, another 18% was sitting in user’s junk folders. As a result, a new mailbox policy was set in place on our new servers. Continue reading

Bethel Email Statistics

With the advent of recent SPAM attacks, I thought it would be advantageous to share some email statistics. On average, our email systems field over 75,000 emails per week, that’s almost 4,000,000 per year! Typically, about one-third of those emails get through the filter and the other two-thirds are SPAM.

In comparison, the average number of outgoing emails is only 7500. This also means an average of 18,000 potentially non essential (solicitation, forum updates, newsletters, etc.) emails are received by staff each week. Our SPAM and Virus Firewall appliance is only one of many systems that need daily attention and monitoring. It’s also an essential service that saves staff time, energy  and the risk of potential threats.

Email Stats

 

 

 

Teacher Managed Internet?

One feature of the district’s new web filter is the ability to have teachers create their own web zones, whereby they can add URL’s for students to access which are otherwise blocked and unavailable to them. Teachers can also lock down student’s access during their class time to ONLY those sites, blocking everything else if they wish. The process is fairly simple, as outlined in the steps below.

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Someone Asked: What Does a Technology Manager Do?

The Bethel Technology Services Manager roles and responsibilities include project management, senior systems administration, Exchange email administration, VMWare administration (virtual environment), network administration, and recently added, telephony administration.  Generally, most work is project related and focus remains behind the scenes maintaining the overall health of the systems. Rarely is there involvement with direct end-user support.

What follows are excerpts from around the web:

  • “The duties of a Technology Services Manager are many and widely varied.”
  • “The position typically represents the highest level of technical knowledge, training, expertise and education in the organization.”
  • “In general, they architect, engineer, plan and implement computer systems based on an organization’s specific needs.”
  • “They usually have diverse duties including oversight of all technical operations, managing people and maintains vendor relationships.”
  • “The Technology Services Manager must have a firm grasp on all of the necessary elements that are incorporated into the organization’s systems from hardware to software to networking to individual access and overall security.”

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