Awareness : Newsletter Articles

Back-to-School Security Tips

It’s that time of year again!  School is in session and whether you are a student, parent, faculty or staff, it is important to follow some essential security tips and reminders.  The new school year brings new opportunities for hackers, cyber criminals and identity thieves.  It is vital to be aware of common back-to-school scams:

  • Emails claiming to contain “important information about your school account,” or a “problem with your class registration.”
  • Scams specifically designed to cheat students out of money, such as scholarship scams, textbook rental or book-buying scams, housing scams, tutoring scams, and work-from-home scams.
  • Technical support scams claiming a problem with your computer.  These often claim to be from reputable brands such as “Microsoft” or “Apple.”
  • IRS impersonators demanding students or parents wire money immediately to pay “federal student taxes.”
  • Messages requesting login information. Never share login information or passwords!
  • Fake friend requests on social media.
  • Fraudulent notices from cloud storage vendors such as Google Drive and Box.

Below are some simple cybersecurity habits to protect your privacy:

  • Always think twice before clicking on links or opening attachments.
  • Always verify requests for private information (yours or anyone else’s), even if the request seems legitimate.
  • Use strong passwords and protect them! Never share your password and use multi-factor authentication wherever possible.
  • Keep a clean machine! Keep your devices, apps, browsers, and anti-virus/anti-malware software up to date.
  • Back up critical files regularly. Store backups in a different location from originals, and test them periodically.
  • Be wary of sharing personal information online.
  • Avoid using free/public Wi-Fi (such as airport, coffee shops, hotel lobbies, etc.) and be mindful of what you access on unsecured networks.
  • If something appears to be suspicious, report it immediately!  Contact UMIT at 305-243-5999 or help@med.miami.edu.