Office of Information Technology Newsletter

Spreading Cyber Security Awareness

Cyber Security Awareness Logo

October is the month dedicated to raising awareness about the risks associated with being online. At American University, we supported the month by posting cyber tips in Today@AU, publishing a feature article in American Today, and providing seven different themed posters available for the community to show their support and hang on the walls of their office, residence hall, or home. We hope the community will continue to order the posters throughout the year.

In addition, on October 31st, we announced to the students that we had brokered a special deal for them to install Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) for free on their personal computers. Secunia PSI continuously monitors the vulnerabilities associated with software installed on your computer, and provides a user-friendly way to quickly update and protect against cyber criminals looking to exploit software applications that are not fully patched.

The Office of Information Technology diligently work to reduce risks posed to University data as it travels through the information highway and as it rests on individual's mobile devices, university owned and personally owned computers. We can't do it alone; it takes a human firewall to truly protect our sensitive and private data. Please partner with us and remember these tips:

 

Information Security – We're here to help.

Do you have an information security question? Wondering if a website, service, project, or behavior is secure or risky? The Information Security unit of the Office of Information Technology is available for security consultations on any question that affects the Confidentiality, Integrity, or Availability of AU data. If you think you need Information Security's help, contact the AU Help Desk at 202-885-2550 or helpdesk@american.edu and mention that you would like a security consultation on your issue.

 

Social Networking Security

Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are popular ways to keep in touch with friends, colleagues, and family; however, using these sites introduces a security risk. Protect yourself by limiting the amount of personal information you post and only post information that you would be comfortable with strangers knowing. Always be skeptical of what is sent to you through these sites. Social networking sites are a major source of scams that try and trick you into disclosing private information (also known as phishing attacks). Educate yourself at www.us-cert.gov/reading_room/safe_social_networking.pdf.

 

Mobile Device Security

Mobile devices can perform a variety of tasks: take pictures, send text messages, surf the Web, and store information. Today's mobile devices are as powerful and connected as any PC or laptop. Take the same precautions on your mobile device as you do on your computer with regard to messaging and online safety.

 

Never share your username and passwords with other individuals or companies.

Your user name and password uniquely identify you in American University's computer systems. If you share your login credentials with another person or company, they could potentially impersonate you by using your account, and any activity they engage in online will be traced to you. It is also a violation of AU's IT Security Policy to share your AU user name and password with ANYONE. OIT will never ask you to share your password. For more information on your AU accounts and tips on how to pick a good password, see: www.american.edu/oit/accounts/Password.cfm
 

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