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Summer Cybersecurity Tips


Colleagues,

As you wrap up the academic year, we encourage you to take a moment to consider three simple cybersecurity tips you can follow this summer. While this may seem like an irrelevant subject during these traumatic times, your safety and wellbeing extends to your online and computer use. Please take a moment to review these suggestions for keeping the “online you” safe and secure.

number 1

First and foremost, technology alone cannot fully protect you—you are the best defense. Attackers have learned that the easiest way to get what they want—your money or your information—is to target you, rather than your computer or other devices. If they want your bank account password or control of your social media account, they’ll attempt to trick you into giving it to them, often by creating a sense of urgency or confusion. For example, a phishing email telling you to click to log into your account to confirm a bank transfer. Or perhaps they send you a text message that a package could not be delivered, fooling you into clicking on a malicious link. The most common indicators of a social engineering attack include:

  • A sense of urgency, often through fear, intimidation, a crisis or an important deadline
  • Pressure to ignore common sense, an offer too good to be true (no, you did not win the lottery!), or exploiting your natural curiosity
  • A request for help from a friend or co-worker in which the signature, tone of voice or wording seems “off”

To combat these tricks, navigate to your financial or other accounts via a bookmark or by typing in the address manually instead of clicking on email links, or contact people you know by phone or some other mechanism to verify the request.

Number 2

Use 2-Factor Authentication (sometimes called multi-factor authentication) everywhere you can. You’re already using it for your SCU account. We urge you to enable 2FA for all your financial, social, retail, and other accounts that offer this protection. Not sure who offers it or how to do it? Check out https://twofactorauth.org for a listing of online services that provide 2FA, including links to instructions for enabling 2FA for that service. Bonus tip: the Duo mobile app used for SCU’s 2FA service can double as an authentication app for most other multi-factor systems.

Number 3

Most technology equipment and software applications you have for work or personal use come with multiple security options, many of which are not enabled by default. This includes your personal computer, mobile phone, personal Gmail account, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. Review those security settings because the default settings may not optimize either your privacy or your security. Don’t simply accept what companies think you need- make informed choices.

Please keep these tips in mind and have a safe and happy summer!


SCU Information Security Homepage

Kristen Dietiker
Chief Information Security Officer
(408) 554-5554