As teachers at the Palisades School District in Pennsylvania return to school this year, they’re getting lessons in how to better protect computer files, reports The Intelligencer of Bucks County, Pa. "It’s of the utmost importance that we monitor our [computer] security," said Palisades Technology Director Gary Adams. Adams is kicking off the school year with new technology security measures aimed at keeping students, staff, and administrators safe from online intruders. Short-term goals focus on training teachers to better protect school computer files, and later this year Palisades’ technology staff will move into a custom-built facility off campus to store and protect main data servers. Palisades will begin by implementing stronger passwords for staff that must be at least eight characters in length and include alpha, numeric, and special characters. Passwords must also be changed every 60 days. Adams and the technology staff will also move user profile data to a file server rather than storing it on a desktop and install new firewall protection with intrusion detection. Keeping teachers’ computer data secure is critical, Adams said, as almost all of their files, including students’ grades, are stored on computers. "We have a lot of confidential information about students and staff," he said. "There has just been way too many security breaches in the news lately and I’d rather be proactive than reactive."

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