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Email Security Alert

We have had contact from a number of schools about emails which appear to be from known accounts containing links for them to follow. These are a real security risk, and can lead to hacking of email accounts. Once this has occurred, a hacker can access archive material. We would therefore remind you that:

  1. Unexpected web links arriving in any email should be treated with extreme caution, even if you know the sender. It is a good idea to check they are from the sender, preferably using another communication method. Email accounts can be hacked and therefore mail replies confirming authenticity cannot be relied upon. Email links from unknown sources, offering planning or free resources, are a real danger and should not be followed.
  2. Schools should not email sensitive or personal data even to governors. They should use a secure communication method for data transfer, such as HertsFX (when mailing HCC employees), and ideally GovernorHub for governor papers, agendas and minutes (contact our governance team for more details or email cathy.irons@hertsforlearning.co.uk). Less sensitive attachments are best emailed with a password which is transmitted separately and ideally through a different medium from the mail with the attachment.

New data protection regulations come into force from 25th May 2018 (GDPR). Schools will need to ensure that they comply with stricter guidance about data management from this point. HfL will provide support, training and an online toolkit to help them with this later this month. That said, over 80% of all data protection breaches are human error (such as clicking on the wrong link, sending data via an unauthorised channel or not following policy), so if we can remind schools and ourselves of key data security principles this will help us keep all of our information secure. Please do register with our GDPR mail update service for more information by mailing gdpr@hertsforlearning.co.uk.