It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Follow These Five Tips To Be Cyber Smart

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It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month—a great time to remember how to be cyber smart.

Follow the five tips from our Information Security team below, and remember, if you ever get an email that seems suspicious, send it to infosec@ccc.edu.

1. Be cautious with any unsolicited offers in your email.

Beware of emails like job offers with unreasonably high wages, and remember, official emails do not come from free email providers (addresses ending with @gmail.com, @outlook.com, @yahoo.com, etc.). If you are not sure, forward the message to infosec@ccc.edu to verify it before responding.

2. Do not share your passwords with anyone.

Modern IT systems are built so you do not need to know other people’s passwords. Every individual should use only their own account and their own password, so sharing of account credentials is prohibited, even per CCC’s Responsible Computer Use Policy. No reputable business will ever ask you for your password, so any requests like this are usually a scam.

3. Apply security patches and upgrades on your devices.

Keeping your devices and software up to date is crucial for your online safety. Whenever there is an update available for your computer, phone, tablet, or even an internet browser, run the update as soon as you can. If it is a CCC computer managed by OIT, keep an eye out for notices that you need to restart your computer after an update – and do so as soon as convenient.

4. Use your CCC email for school and work; use your personal email for personal business.

For CCC employees, it is against CCC’s Responsible Computer Use Policy to use your work email for personal business, and the content of an email – not its location – determines whether a message is a public record. Using your personal email for work could make your personal mailbox subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. It also defies principles of safe computing and email retention.

Graduated or inactive students lose access to email accounts one year after program completion/graduation or two years after last course activity for students who haven’t graduated. It’s better (and future-proof) to keep non-academic messaging separate.

5. Sign up for multi-factor authentication (students).

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a security enhancement already enabled for all CCC faculty and staff. It uses something you know (your password) and something you have (code in a text message or in the Authenticator app on your smartphone) to authenticate you to your CCC student email and Office 365 account. To enable it, send us a request at infosec@ccc.edu. We also highly recommend enabling MFA whenever it is offered on any important personal or business accounts.