Protect Logo with shield
  • Welcome to Protect.

    Protect is the SPS initiative focused on protecting student and staff data, as well as providing information security resources to our community.

    We will provide regular updates about efforts at SPS to protect critical and confidential information, as well as demonstrate examples of best practices you can adopt to protect your personal information at home.

    Currently, as part of Protect, Springfield Public Schools aligns curriculum with strong Digital Citizenship, utilizes robust Digital Tools, adheres to Information Security protocols established by industry standards, and steadfastly secures Student Data.

    How will we achieve this, and how do we measure our progress?

    One of the major approaches that SPS is taking to ensure the privacy of our student's information is to work towards earning a nationally recognized seal of data security standards.  We are striving to earn the Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) seal, which is a program created by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) by 28 member school districts.

    SPS is using this program to guide our approach to Protect, and to show our commitment to keep our student's data private and secure.


  • Guidance from the Center for Internet Security

    Posted by Sean Burch on 4/1/2020 7:35:00 AM

    CIS is the Center for Internet Security.  This link has some very helpful information about how to avoid certain scams on the internet.   A lot of Americans are working and learning from home, including teachers, parents and students.  One of the only ways we can protecr our information is through diligently paying attention to what we click on and what we are opening.  Please take a minute to read through CIS's guide to avoiding some of the common pitfalls. 

    Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks

    Comments (-1)
  • March 2020 • The Monthly Security Awareness Newsletter for Everyone

    Posted by Sean Burch on 3/6/2020

    SANS Security Awareness has a great article about digital spring cleaning, the principals in the article can be applied to both your work and home digital lives.

     OUCH newsletter.

    Comments (-1)
  • Social Security scam calls

    Posted by Sean Burch on 1/1/2020 6:00:00 AM

    How to report robocalls from Social Security imposters

    Anyone receiving robocalls can report them to the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission or Social Security Administration to help officials determine trends. Here are links to file a report with each:

    Comments (-1)
  • Be a cyber success for the Holiday season...

    Posted by Sean Burch on 11/26/2019 6:00:00 AM

    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 on-line shopping days and the bad guys are planning to get rich with your money. So, here are the Top 10 Fraud Alert Tips

    1. Never click on links in emails. If you want to shop at a site, enter that site address in your browser. There are thousands of fake sites that look almost identical to the real thing. Don't fall for evil-twin shopping sites.
    2. Don't open attachments with special offers. It's a classic scam. The offer should be in the email and you should be able to see it right away. 
    3. Watch for malicious ads and popups. Do not click on ads that sound too good to be true, and ignore popups that might propose the "best deal ever". 
    4. Beware of e-skimmers. This is a new one. Do you know that bad guys sometimes skim your credit card at gas stations or ATMs? Well, there is a new flavor of that, the shopping website you order from might be infected with an "e-skimmer" and they steal your card data when you check out. You can prevent that by using PayPal or Amazon. 
    5. Use a credit card to buy stuff online if possible. NEVER use a debit card to make online purchases but use that debit card to take out cash only.  
    6. Do not shop over a public Wi-Fi. You simply do not know if it's secure and who is listening. Only shop using a secure, trusted network. If you have no other way to shop, use a VPN which encrypts your traffic.
    7. Be very careful when you see a free offer during the holidays. There is an explosion of all kinds of survey fraud and gift card scams. 
    8. Do not re-use any of your passwords. Instead, use a password manager to create hard-to-break passwords. Re-using any password is literally an invitation to get hacked. 
    9. Keep a close eye on your credit card and bank accounts. During this season, unexpected and strange charges might appear which could very well be the first sign your card or even your whole identity has been stolen. If you think you might have been scammed, stay calm and call your credit card company, nix that card and get a new one.
    10. Be especially suspicious of gift card scams. They can be a perfect holiday gift, but gift card scams are skyrocketing. Only buy gift cards from trusted sources.
    Comments (-1)
  • Gone Phishing...

    Posted by Sean Burch on 11/25/2019 6:00:00 AM

    What is phishing?  Here is an excellent reference:

    Please be careful this holiday season, and keep your personal information safe.

     A quick reference:  Tips about what to look for in a phishing email

    Comments (-1)
  • Holiday shopping tips!

    Posted by Sean Burch on 11/22/2019 6:00:00 AM
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  • Patch it up.

    Posted by Sean Burch on 11/11/2019 6:00:00 AM

    Patching for Protection: 

    • While perhaps not exciting, it is critical to keep systems current and up-to-date.  This is a simple action anyone can take to be proactive in protecting their devices at home and at work.  Any device that connects to a network should receive this attention. Computers, mobile devices, game consoles, smart outlets and even some lights and wireless speakers can all be updated. 
      • A simple way to keep these devices current is to enable automatic updates whenever possible.
      • Windows 7 will no longer be patched after January of 2020.  Where possible, you should plan to replace any home computers that are still running this Operating System.
      • Here is a link to the windows lifecycle management page:
    Comments (-1)
  • FERPA for you, and FERPA for me...

    Posted by Sean Burch on 11/1/2019 7:00:00 AM

    Interested in information about FERPA? 


    "FERPA|Sherpa – named after the core federal law that governs education privacy – is the education privacy resource center. Check out FERPA|Sherpa’s resource search center, our blog, and pages with specific information and guidance for parentsstudentseducatorsLEAsSEAshigher eded tech, and policymakers!"

    You can find several linked videos from the Department of Education and other online resources that help demystify some of the government rules.

    For example, they post this video about PII and FERPA and how it relates to student information: 

    Comments (-1)
  • National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Protect IT

    Posted by Bruce Douglas on 10/21/2019 7:00:00 AM

    National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

    It’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and we’re excited to be sharing tips on protecting yourself.  This week we’re going to highlight how you can stay safe and “Protect IT”.

    More and more devices and information are on the internet everyday.  To stay safe, we have to think about how we use the internet and how we can protect our digital profile to avoid being a victim of a cybercrime.  Check out these resources from the National Cyber Security Alliance on you can Protect IT.

    Tell us how you are protecting your digital profile on Twitter by tweeting @OfficialSPSIT and using the hashtags #BeCyberSmart and #CyberAware.

    Comments (-1)
  • National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Secure IT

    Posted by Bruce Douglas on 10/14/2019 7:00:00 AM

    National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

    It’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month and we’re excited to be sharing tips on protecting yourself.  This week we’re going to highlight how you can stay safe and “Secure IT”.

    You use your device everyday and cybercriminals do too.  They are always looking for different ways to get personal information and we have to take steps to secure our identities and information.  Here are some more resources from the National Cyber Security Alliance on how you can Secure IT.

    Tell us how you are securing your identity on Twitter by tweeting @OfficialSPSIT and using the hashtags #BeCyberSmart and #CyberAware.

    Comments (-1)