Hacking at Hutchison
November 13, 2019
At Hutchison, one of the many topics students frequently discuss is the Wi-Fi. It is an everyday game for students to be huddled in groups with their phones, guessing the Wi-Fi password to share with fellow students. Students complain about how the service is terrible and how they are not allowed to have the Wi-Fi. They often get confused as to why they aren’t allowed to have it, or if they do somehow manage to find the password, they get blocked. These students are no longer able to access the internet.
Most students believe it is the teachers that do not want them to have access to Wi-Fi. Katy Nair, Upper School Assistant Head disagrees: “I think it would be awesome if [students] could have the Wi-Fi, but I also think that means we would have to upgrade our systems quite a bit. On days students are given access, the faculty has a difficult time getting things done in the office. If everyone had the Wi-Fi, it would slow everything down too much.” Nair explains.
Some students propose the fact that if Hutchison had better service, then no one would need the Wi-Fi. Jesse Cresswell states, “We’re about a 52-54-acre campus, and we have the trees surrounding us. The trees can impede the signals and can block it, and the closest towers are on Ridgeway and Poplar. The only one that remotely works on campus is Verizon.” While the service is something he has been working on, the process will not be quick or easy.
Being blocked is a concern, but also a risk many students are willing to take just to have the Wi-Fi for a couple of days or, hopefully, for the rest of the month. “If I see that the internet’s just being tanked because there’s so many people on there, I just look at the guest Wi-Fi and if I just see rows of phones that have students names on them, we just block them to knock them off the Wi-Fi,” Cresswell explains. The reason for this is because it is easier for the tech department to block people rather than change the password early (instead of every thirty days) and having to tell the whole faculty. When asked if people could ever get unblocked, Cresswell answered with this: “We were unblocking people once a year, but I’m going to start doing it regularly, like every quarter or so.”
Hacking into student’s computers is another current problem among the student body. Unlike the Wi-Fi and service, this is an easier problem to fix. “The reason why this has happened for all the students I have spoken with is because they use their school password on other websites.” Jesse Cresswell, the Technology Director, explains. The solution to this problem is for students to not use their Hutchison password for any other website. Cresswell says that he will be meeting with the whole Upper School about how to prevent hacking and changing passwords every ninety days or so.
Have you been hacked? Visit the technology help desk for aid and information about resetting your passwords, and remember to only use your Hutchison password for school-related accounts.