5 Cyber Tips to Follow at Home and at Work

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Keep your information secure at home and at work with the following tips from OIT.

Create Strong Passwords

OIT recommends that all passwords be 12 or more characters, with a mixture of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters. We understand it can be tricky to generate, and remember, complex passwords. Later this semester, OIT will be providing LastPass password management tool for free to all students, faculty and staff. With LastPass, all passwords will be stored in a secure and encrypted environment. Moving forward, the only password you’ll have to remember is your password to LastPass. Stay tuned for more information.

Use 2FA

Most UA students, faculty and staff are familiar with DUO two-factor authentication, but did you know that other websites offer their own version of two-factor? Google, iCloud, Amazon, Facebook and even Snapchat offer two-factor verification to protect the sensitive data in these accounts. Activate two-factor for your personal accounts today.

Credit Freeze

A credit freeze is the best way to prevent malicious actors from using your personal information to open new accounts in your name. When an individual freezes their credit, the credit bureaus cannot provide any information about the individual to lenders until the individual elects to thaw the freeze.  Individuals can freeze their credit with Equifax, TransUnion and Experian for free. OIT recommends placing a freeze at all three bureaus. Visit their websites directly to establish the freeze.

Do not share sensitive data

Hackers do their homework. When malicious actors send spear phishing attacks, they design emails to often come from individuals within your contact list. If you get a suspicious email from a colleague, OIT recommends that you call that individual to verify the email. Do not respond to the email to verify its sender, and do not send any sensitive information via email.


Finally, backup your data! This applies at home and at work; accidents can happen anywhere. Keep your files safe and encrypted in a cloud storage account like UA Box. This applies to sensitive work material and your grandmother’s coconut cake recipe. Anything you want to keep safe should be stored in a secure cloud storage account. If you prefer to store files on an external hard drive or flash drive, plug the device into your computer, backup your files, and then unplug it and store it in a safe location.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. OIT will be posting cyber safety tips throughout the month. For more information about Cybersecurity Awareness Month, visit the National Cyber Security Alliance’s website https://staysafeonline.org.