Back-to-School CyberSecurity Tips
As you begin the Fall term, We’d like to take a moment to remind you of various cybersecurity threats and scams that target students like you. Unfortunately, cybercriminals target students during Back-to-School season because new students are unfamiliar with the campus environment and even returning students often have their guard down amidst all the activity and excitement.
Please watch out for these common back-to-school scams:
- Emails mentioning “problems” with your SCU account or class registration, asking you to log in to confirm a password, banking/financial aid info, or other personal info
- Financial scams targeting students, such as housing scams, fake scholarships, fake “tuition payment processors”, textbook rentals or downloads (often infected with malware), and work from home scams
- IRS impersonators who call demanding immediate payment for fake taxes (Tip: The IRS will ALWAYS reach out by postal mail first)
- “Phishing” emails and text messages with links to fake login pages, designed to steal your password
How to stay safe:
- When possible, protect your accounts with 2-Factor Authentication (also called Multi-factor Authentication). New this year! All students can protect their SCU accounts with Duo 2FA! More info is available at https://www.scu.edu/duo . Many of your personal accounts offer 2-Factor Authentication- check the list at https://twofactorauth.org
- Be skeptical! Verify requests for private information, account alerts, financial aid offers, housing and textbook “deals”, job offers, and the like. You can do a Google search or contact the relevant SCU office via phone or in person to double check the request. If you get an email about your SCU account and you’re not sure if it’s legitimate, forward it to the Technology Help Desk at email@example.com for assistance
- Keep your passwords private! Never share them, and use different and long passwords for every account. Use a password manager to keep track of them
- SCU’s Office of Student Life has Housing Scam info on their website: https://www.scu.edu/osl/off-campus-living/off-campus-housing/
- FCC’s “10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud”: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0060-10-things-you-can-do-avoid-fraud
- FCC’s “How to Spot, Avoid, and Report Tech Support Scams”: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-spot-avoid-and-report-tech-support-scams
- IRS Warning about bogus “Student Federal Tax”: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-warns-of-latest-scam-variation-involving-bogus-federal-student-tax
- Scholarship scams: http://www.fraud.org/back_to_school_scams
- “Tuition payment processor” scams (From 2016 but still current): https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2016/09/11/scam-alert-avoid-college-payment-processors/
To report any phishing emails targeting your SCU account, or to report other cybersecurity concerns with SCU applications or network resources, please contact the Technology Help Desk at x5700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best wishes for a successful and cyber-safe academic year!