Cyber Safety Tips

Information Technology

Campus:  Blountville
Office:  Information Technology
Room:  P218A, Pierce Administration Building
Office Hours:  8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
Address:  2425 Highway 75, P.O. Box 246, Blountville, TN 37617
Phone:  423.323.0202
Fax:  423.279.7645                                                                
Email:  systemsmgr@NortheastState.edu
Web:  www.NortheastState.edu/CyberSafety 



Using Computers on Campus

  • Never leave a campus computer without logging off. If someone uses your account, you are still responsible for any actions that someone may take under your name.
  • Create a document on your flash drive to identify the device and make sure that it provides just enough information so that it may be returned to you if you lose it.
  • Always safely eject your flash drive to avoid data loss. Double check that you have removed it before leaving the computer.
  • Periodically back up the contents of your flash drive to your personal computer, hard drive, or online storage.
  • Never leave your personal devices unattended at any campus location.

Phishing

  • If you receive an email with a link inside, especially if the email is from an unknown sender, hover your mouse above the link to preview the URL.
  • Never enter your name, phone number, birthday, social security number, student ID, username, password, or account numbers into an email. Banks, credit cards, government agencies, and other reputable institutions will never require you to give such information through email.
  • Check for grammatical and spelling errors in the subject line and body of an email, especially if the email comes from an “official” source.
  • If it is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Always check the name and email address of the sender to ensure that it matches up. For example, an official email from Yahoo might look like, “userinfo@Yahoo.com”,  while a scammer may try to spoof an official email and use something like, “userinfo@yahoo-inc.com”.
  • Typically, official emails have the customer’s name in the greeting while scam emails use generic terms such as “member” or “customer”.

Mobile Security

  • Due to the small size of mobile devices, an important component of mobile security is making sure that devices are physically secured. Never leave your device(s) in a place where others may be able to steal it.
  • Always use a strong password, pin number, or pattern that only you will know.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi and hotspots for sensitive materials such as online banking and shopping. Many open access points are insecure, and people may be able to steal your personal data.
  • Keep your device and applications up to date. Hackers may be able to exploit security vulnerabilities in older versions of apps and operating systems.
  • Only use apps from a reputable marketplace such as the Windows Store, the App Store, or the Google Play Store.
  • Periodically back up your data to avoid data loss. You can use software such as Google Drive or iCloud depending on the device.
  • Use software such as “Find My iPhone” for iPhone and “Find My Device” for Android. These applications allow users to find the location of their devices and lock or erase the contents of the device should it be necessary.

Malware, Ransomware, and Other Harmful Software

  • Always make sure your software is up to date because some malicious software is designed to exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software.
  • Install an antivirus software such as Windows Defender, AVG, or Norton to protect your computer and other devices from viruses, malware, and spyware.
  • Update your antivirus software regularly and scan your devices on a regular basis.
  • Only download software, music, movies, and documents from trusted sources. Never download from an unknown source.
  • Never open suspicious email attachments.
  • Regularly back up your data.

Network and Website Security

  • Always use a strong password:
    • Use a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers.
    • Never use your personal information such as birthday, social security number, student ID, or name as part of your password.
    • Avoid using the same password for everything.
  • Avoiding inputting your personal information into websites that are not encrypted:
    • Addresses for encrypted sites will read “HTTPS” as opposed to “HTTP”.
  • When setting up your in-home Wi-Fi network, never use the default password.
  • Only give your Wi-Fi password to highly trusted individuals.
  • Only pair Bluetooth with known devices.

Go to Safe Northeast