Enhance our school district’s cyber defenses.

December 4, 2020

Dear Employees,

In an effort to further enhance our school district’s cyber defenses, we want to highlight common cyberattacks that everyone should be aware of - ransomware and phishing.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that takes over your computer and prevents you from accessing files until you pay a ransom. It is increasingly being used to extort money and gift cards. Although we maintain controls to help protect our networks and computers from this type of attack, you are our first line of defense.

Phishing is the other most common cyberattack. Phishing attacks can take many forms, but they all share a common goal – getting you to share sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card information, or bank account details.

Think Before You Click!!!

The most common way ransomware enters our networks is through email. To avoid this trap, please observe the following email best practices:

  • Do not click on links or attachments from anyone unless you are sure that this attachment is intended for you.
  • Do not provide sensitive personal information like usernames and passwords over email.
  • Change your password frequently. A good rule of thumb is to change your password every 90 days. This helps to make sure that if you did suffer an attack unknowingly, the attacker would lose access after you change your password.
  • Law enforcement or Technology will never send you an email indicating that you need to change your password.
  • Be mindful of clicking on website links especially advertisements links in websites.

Thanks again for helping to keep our network safe from these cyber threats. If you have any additional questions or inquiries, please reach out to us at

bcs-helpdesk@bhm.k12.al.us or 205.231.4747.

Joanne Stephens, Ph.D.

Director of Information Technology

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