Technology Tips: August 2019 Edition

Aug 14, 19

Tech Tips - A Tech Series designed to improve your cyber security presence

There’s no better time to revisit security tips than back-to-school season. Improving personal security just 1x a year can make a difference, but you can use these tips all year long.
In the interest of keeping your email address out of the next security breach, consider giving Bug Me Not a try for websites that require a free subscription using email.

Bug Me Not may be able to provide a dummy email address, username, and/or password, which means you don’t have to use your real one to log in. Some sites have banned Bug Me Not credentials (think newspapers, paid subscription sites, and other paywalls). 

Bug Me Not is the next generation of having a “burner” email address—a throwaway account not tied to any important personally identifying information such as financial management, banking, and taxes. However, it goes one step further by never tying your throwaway credentials to any personally identifying information at all—names, other email addresses, shared devices, and IP addresses.

A virtual private network (VPN) may limit the possibility of malware, hackers, and data breaches. For district-owned devices, consider looking into a VPN—it will be well worth the investment if it staves off a ransomware attack.

VPN providers are vast and varied, with many different options depending on the level of security and privacy desired. Some may keep logs of interactions. Some are backed by antivirus services. Key services to look for include the number of simultaneous connections allowed, support options, bandwidth limits, and reliability.

Google maps location tracker
Navigation apps such as Google maps have been a game-changer for travelers, but did you realize these apps may be tracking your every move, then reporting the information to Google and Apple? You can turn off this tracking report without having to give up your phone’s GPS. Here’s how.

How to stop tracking your location history using Google’s web page:

Sign in to your Google Account.
  • Navigate to Data & Personalization.
  • Toggle the Activity control for location history to turn it off.
How turn off location tracking in Android:
  • Go to the Settings app.
  • Scroll down and tap on the Location section.
  • Tap Google Location Reporting.
  • Switch Location History to “off.”
How to turn off location tracking in iOS:
  • Open the Settings app.
  • Scroll down to Privacy, then Location Services.
  • Disable all Location Services by setting the top slider to “off”—or disable specific apps one by one.

Malware of the Month: MyDoom Turns 15
Labeled the most destructive malware of all time, MyDoom is still making the rounds fifteen years after its birth in July 2004. The malware caused over $38 billion in damage, generating up to a quarter of the emails sent worldwide. The software would send out infected attachments, which turned each computer into a botnet for DDoS attacks. It brought down Google and affected Yahoo, Lycos, and Alta Vista search engines.

MyDoom is still making the rounds in phishing emails today, although we hope email users have become savvier to this type of attack: deleting email from unexpected senders or spoofed addresses, avoiding URLs in unsolicited emails, and never downloading an attachment unless the sender is 100% trustworthy.

Originally posted in Skyward’s Educator Newsletter

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