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ArkansasIDEAS – “Data Security Awareness: Module 2 – Passwords”

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  • Kayla Fletcher
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Most people don’t realize there are many methods used to hack passwords and abundantly more ways we make sensitive information exposed due to simple and commonly used passwords. Are you using a strong secure password? Or are your passwords potentially weak and vulnerable to a security breach?

The second module in the Data Security Awareness course is now available on ArkansasIDEAS. The new course launched on Nov. 1, 2018, and was created in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education’s Security Awareness Campaign. The course is an opportunity for educators to be trained on a variety of security topics that focus on awareness, passwords, email, phishing, public WiFi, and how to recognize and report security incidents.

According to Security Mentor, “Often a password is the only thing that stands between your data and a criminal. So, making passwords strong and keeping them safe is vital.”

To help learn the proper methods in creating secure passwords, the Security Mentor modules are packed full of interactive lessons, opportunities for educator reflection, and a collection of the Security Awareness Campaign posters to help include students in the conversation.

The second module, “Passwords,” will launch on December 1, 2018, and additional modules in the first course being released monthly through April 2019. ArkansasIDEAS, the Arkansas Department of Education, and the Security Awareness Campaign plan to launch the remaining modules in a second course beginning October 2019.

Arkansas Department of Education Director of Data Use & Privacy Ray Girdler had the following to share about the launch of the second module:

“I was watching a special on television not too long ago that hired ex-cons and recorded them breaking into homes. I was so disappointed by how uneventful the show was. The criminals just walked around the house looking for unlocked windows, unlocked car doors, hidden keys under doormats, etc. If a house was too difficult to get in, the break-in artist would move on to the next car or home until they found an easier target. I was dumbfounded by the number people who didn’t take simple precautions to protect their property. Locking your doors when you leave seems so simple.

It took some time before it hit me, but we treat our technologies the same way we treat our homes, and probably worse! How many people don’t lock their computers when they walk away from their work station? How many people use a simple passcode on their phone, create a password that is easy to guess, or leave their password taped to their computer monitor? Our passwords are the “keys” to our systems, data, and privacy. We can’t just leave our accounts and machines unlocked for anyone to access.

One of the challenges we all experience is with remembering so many different passwords. We often think the solution to this problem would be just to have one key to every house. Even though this would be convenient, another solution would be to develop better strategies for creating passwords that are more memorable. One key strategy for creating a more memorable password is by using a passphrase. Our December Campaign will guide you through the process of creating strong passphrases and keeping them safe! Be sure to also check out December’s Campaign Poster for engaging students in your classroom.”

“Data Security Awareness: Security Mentor Modules 1–6” is available through ArkansasIDEAS at Modules 1 and 2 are currently available. Additional modules to be released through April 2019 will include:

  • “Phishing,” January 2019.
  • “Email Security,” February 2019.
  • “Public WiFi,” March 2019.
  • “Reporting Incidents,” April 2019.