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ArkansasIDEAS – “Data Security Awareness: Module 4 – Email Security”

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  • Kayla Fletcher
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Due to the increasing use of email as an attack route, it is perilous that educators take firm action in protecting their email accounts against a potential breach of confidential information, much like student data. Are you using the right skills and mindset when it comes to email security?

The fourth 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, phishing, email, public WiFi, and how to recognize and report security incidents.

According to Security Mentor, “It used to be malicious messages were sent by teenage hackers or by solo criminals working by themselves. Things have changed. Today, organized crime sends many of the malicious emails, and those emails are increasingly sophisticated.”

To help develop the right email detective skills to tell good messages from malicious ones, 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 fourth module, “Email Security,” will launch on February 1, 2019, 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 fourth module:

“I hesitate to make a movie reference from the 80’s, but I’m going to push forward as some motion films transcend time. Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, in my opinion, is a must-watch American classic. Who would have thought 30+ years after its debut we’d still be talking about a movie featuring a student who hacked into the school’s computer network to pull one over on the building principal? Doesn’t sound that far-fetched from today’s classroom. This movie is littered with epic movie quotes that I’m dying to list one by one. With the understanding that you may not be as infatuated with this movie as myself, I will leave you with just one: ‘Not knowing you are a target, makes you a target.’

How cocky would you have to be to make such a bold assertion? I think part of this sting comes from the amount of truth living in this brief statement. I recently read a book that describes the intricacies associated with cyber crime organizations across the world. We’re talking about BIG business. We’re talking about thousands of Ferris Beullers that have been trained, conditioned, and determined to make BIG money on our ignorance of the cyber threats that are being delivered directly by email. Don’t want to be a target? Sorry, I can’t help you there (bubble buster alert). However, you can reduce the number of times you’re “hit” if you are email S.M.A.R.T.

Stop and think before you open or forward an email!
Make sure you recognize the sender and the email doesn’t look suspicious!
Ask yourself, “Does this request seem reasonable?”
Report suspicious emails. Do not open or forward them to anyone!
Take a breath before opening or forwarding an email, clicking a link, or panicking!”

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

  • “Public WiFi,” March 2019.
  • “Reporting Incidents,” April 2019.