Advisory - Protecting Your Home Computers/Devices from Viruses and Malware
Box Elder School District contracts with many of the major curriculum publishing companies to deliver digital curriculum, via the internet, to the students of the district. Note that these major vendors are used by schools across the nation.
These companies provide web portals for students to access online content. Sometimes the address (or url) to access these online portals can be fairly long. For example, 7th and 8th graders use an online math program entitled Digits. The address to access Digits is http://mymathuniverse.com/digitsSNP. In an attempt to be helpful, someone may utilize a url “shortener” that creates a shorter address for students and staff to remember. This shorter address is created on a third party website such as TinyUrl.com. For example, they may create a url like this one: http:/tinyurl.com/digits. When the student clicks on this newly created url, the internet traffic is routed first to TinyUrl.com and then to the actual desired destination of http://mymathuniverse.com/digitsSNP.
This method of creating shorter urls, and redirecting students to actual urls, has proven to be risky. Recently we have discovered that virus and malware infections can occur via these redirects as described above.
What can you do to protect your personal computer devices?
1. Leading computer security experts, strongly recommend that families install and maintain current anti-virus and malware software to protect your home computers and other devices.
- Unfortunately, due to the fact that we are a governmental agency, we cannot endorse specific products. However there are a number of products that are available on the market, some of which to a good job of protecting you at little or no cost to you.
- For suggestions of products, you may want to contact local computer vendors/shops or ask friends and other family members what they use to protect their computers.
2. When accessing Digital Curriculum products provided by the school district, make certain you access the products via the district or school website. This will provide confidence that you will be guided directly to the desired content without being re-directed via other sites where you might be infected.
- To access online curriculum via the district website, expand the student section on the main page and choose “Work Online” (see below), or bookmark the following url: http://www.besd.net/WorkOnline/
Online Education Options
What you can do if you feel you might already be infected?
1. Download and install anti-virus and malware software and do full scans of all your hardware. ***Note: In many cases it is necessary to take your computer to a professional to ensure that it is fully free of all viruses and malware. Some of the infections are very resilient and challenging even for our professional staff that deal with these things on a regular basis.
- Please note that Box Elder School District Employees cannot provide service to personal computers.