Tag Archives: Email

How to detect fake (“spoofed”) emails

Many people have recently reported receiving fraudulent messages that appear to be coming from John Bacon or other administrators, so I’m repeating an earlier warning that we sent out. Short version: if you receive an email from a colleague asking for any kind of personal information (or asking if you’re free, or asking for your phone number – those are common messages used by scammers), please check to make sure that their email address ends in @iowacityschools.org.

Email spoofing is a type of forgery that makes the email look like it’s from a boss or colleague in need. They will often send a short, vague and sometimes desperate email in attempt to get you to reply to the message. Recently, school districts (including ours) have been hit hard with these attempts.

You can generally tell that these are fake emails by looking at the email address the message is being sent from.  For example, the account doe.john@iowacityschools.org would be someone from the district and should be safe to reply to. However, an email from johndoe12@gmail.com, principaljohndoe@yahoo.com, or even doe.john.iowacityschools.org@gmail.com are fake and potentially malicious. These are only examples and this is not an exhaustive list.

Here are few email best practices put together by the Help Desk.

Do not send confidential or sensitive information via email.
Do not send money or gift cards via email.
Always verify the sender’s address.
Keep an eye out for a yellow or red warning across the top of an email.

As always, if you have questions or suspect a spoofed email, contact the Help Desk.

EMAIL SPOOFING ON THE RISE

Good Afternoon,

I’m sure by now you are all familiar with and have experienced email phishing, but today I’m reaching out to discuss another very popular tactic called email spoofing.

Email spoofing is a type of forgery that makes the email look like it’s from a boss or colleague in need. They will often send a short, vague and sometimes desperate email in attempt to get you to reply to the message. Recently, school districts (including ours) have been hit hard with these attempts. Just in the last week we’ve seen five building administrator’s accounts spoofed.

You can generally tell that these are fake emails by looking at the email address the message is being sent from.  For example, the account doe.john@iowacityschools.org would be someone from the district and should be safe to reply to. However, an email from johndoe12@gmail.comprincipaljohndoe@yahoo.com, or even doe.john.iowacityschools.org@gmail.com are fake and potentially malicious. These are only examples and this is not an exhaustive list.

Here are few email best practices put together by the Help Desk.

  • Do not send confidential or sensitive information via email.
  • Do not send money or gift cards via email.
  • Always verify the sender’s address.
  • Keep an eye out for a yellow or red warning across the top of an email.


As always, if you have questions or suspect a spoofed email, contact the Help Desk.


Thanks,

Josh Reynolds
Client Services Manager

Email outage

UPDATE: Email services are working normally. If you’re experiencing issues this morning, please contact the help desk.

We are currently experiencing district-wide problems with email. Google is working on resolving this issue nationwide. We will post an update when we’ve received word that the issue has been resolved.

Google G-Suite Tips and Tricks

As I’m preparing to assist with Google-focused professional development for staff here at the ESC, I wanted to share more broadly some tips and tricks for working more efficiently and effectively within the Google G-Suite, including Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, Calendar, and other apps.  Some of the resources below are mine and some are from elsewhere; I hope that some of these tips are helpful to you! Continue reading Google G-Suite Tips and Tricks

Extending Gmail with Google Labs

Gmail offers a number of features that allow you to customize your experience, and I’ve blogged about some of those already – such as adding a preview pane (like Outlook) and creating rules to filter incoming messages – but I haven’t yet written about the wonder that is (are?) Gmail Labs.  

What are Gmail Labs? 

Have you ever wanted to be able to automate replies that you send on a regular basis?  Automatically filter out bulk emails?  Add your calendar to your Gmail interface?  These and many more features are available within Gmail Labs, and can be enabled for any ICCSD account.   Continue reading Extending Gmail with Google Labs