How to Protect Yourself
Security is one of those things that we all hear about and think it is a good thing, but then we tend to let someone else worry about it. Although FAU has taken many steps to make its data and network secure, you need to be aware that what you do online can put you, or at least your computer, at risk. A little bit of forethought on your part can go a very long way in making sure your security is not compromised.
Phishing is the act of disguising as a trustworthy entity (such as an administrative figure from a school, financial institution, etc.) to gather information that could be used to compromise one's identity, school credentials, and/or banking information. One of the most common practices of phishing is found through email. You may receive emails from FAU and other credible institutions on a daily basis, but you should always question every email's legitimacy before clicking on any links or attachments. It is best practice to delete an unsolicited email if you are unsure of its validity. If the email is especially concerning and you need to know if it is an attempted phishing attempt, you can forward the email in question to our department at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assist you in making this decision. In the event that you accidentally click on any links or attachments in a phishing email, it is best to, at the very least, change your FAU password (as well as any other sensitive accounts that use this same password).
General Security Guidelines
What you should do:
- Keep your antivirus and operating system up to date
Contact Us if you receive a phishing email. If you are not sure if something is legitimate, forward it to us and we will assist.
- Set a strong password (upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and/or special characters make a password stronger)
- Always do your best to protect your Identity and all Personal Identifiable Information (PII)
- Use anti-virus software to protect your computer from viruses and other harmful programs (known as malware).
- Use pop-up blockers in your web browser to help protect yourself from spyware (be sure to allow pop-ups from FAU webpages since MyFAU and Canvas use them).
- Safe spyware software that you may want to use at no charge are:
What you should NOT do:
- Never give out personal information (Social security number, birthday, driver's license, any account number or password, etc.) to anyone who asks for it online, especially via e-mail. It is very easy for people to send e-mail that appears to be from a FAU OIT Staff, from a bank or other institution as a means of getting sensitive information. This kind of activity is called phishing.
- Do not click on links in any suspicious email or click on any attachments.
- Never put your personal information, even your birthday, on any online site, such as Facebook or Twitter.
- Never make your password the word "password" or any other easily guessed words. These are the first keywords that a hacker will attempt to use.
- Never give your passwords to anyone or allow someone to log onto your account. You could be held accountable if their malicious activity is linked to you.
- Never write your password and leave it in a place where someone will find it (such as taped to the bottom of your keyboard, computer, or monitor).
Mobile Device Safety
Did you know that internet usage on mobile devices has surpassed the amount of usage on desktops? It's true, and now is more important than ever to take precautions against threats on our mobile phones and tablets. Here are a few things you can do to better protect yourself while using your portable devices:
- Set up a passcode/password on the device (touch authentication and/or two-factor should be set up as an added layer of security)
- Make sure you keep up with software updates within your settings and keep up with application updates within your app store.
- Not all apps in the Apple App store/Google Play Store are safe. Check reviews and do your research to verify the legitimacy of an application.
- Delete applications that you no longer use; old applications could provide a backdoor to your device.
- Do not access sensitive information such as banking details and emails on public WiFi hotspots.
- Disable WiFi, Bluetooth, and location services when not in use.
*Note: FAU will never send you an email asking you to verify personal information (FAUNet ID, Password, Z-number, Social Security Number, etc.)
nor will they ask you to reset your account via email*