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Security Increase at CHS

A sudden alter was made that changed students everyday life at Clayton High School. New emails that students have to get adjusted to are causing an increase in security.

September 6, 2017

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Security Increase at CHS

Photo of computer lab by Michael Melinger.

Photo of computer lab by Michael Melinger.

Photo of computer lab by Michael Melinger.

Photo of computer lab by Michael Melinger.

The students at the District of Clayton were notified just seven short days before the end of summer about a change they were not expecting. This change was the alter for a more randomized username for every student’s email address in the district. This new and improved online security altered the day to day function of every student at CHS.

In previous years, the student email usernames were simply the first and last name of students with attached to the end. However, this email setup created many problems for both the faculty and students at the high school.

One of the complications with the old email system is that students and staff who have the same name can get mixed up, and thus students or teachers can receive private information.

“Suddenly we find students are getting confidential information sent to them,” CHS educational technologist Gene Gladstone said.

The main problem with the old email addresses is the security of the students. Although the previous email was watched by the district through the staff, there are still flaws in the system.

“Students, even though they shouldn’t, tie social media and phone numbers into their account. A person who has bad intentions at mind could very easily get into somebody’s email account, social media feeds and get in contact with  students they shouldn’t,” CHS teacher Justin Seiwell said.

A simple change eliminated these problems. The usernames and therefore online identity of students were altered in order to protect the privacy and security of students through the random digits added to the usernames.

Jeff Puls, the chief technology officer of the school district of Clayton, said “adding those two digits at the end, which are randomized, helps to protect student from being contacted by people who don’t know them.”

While it resolves security issues, many students find that the email change produced a new problem. Small changes in students’ everyday lives can cause frustration among students.

 “It felt unreasonable to just change everyone’s emails, I was frustrated with the change and wanted to know why it’s just something I didn’t want to deal with.” said a student of Clayton High School.

The new email also forwards emails from the previous email address to help student adjust to this new change. This forwarding process is only temporary. The forwarding proceeds for about a semester for ninth to eleventh graders, and for seniors the rest of the school year.

”at that point, if you are still using your old email account they are going to get bounced back. This gives you some time to think about, well who will I need to contact,” says Puls.

In the end, small memorization difficulties and a few calls to change a person’s email is nothing compared to the complete online safety of students at Clayton High School.

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