Protect your computers, data, and online accounts  

Internet-based crimes is one of the fastest growing security threats. Cybercriminals have found ways to extort data from universities and demand payment for the release, known as ransomware attacks. The stakes are high for both your personal and financial well-being along with the university’s fight to protect equipment and institutional data. Since higher education institutions are a target, we must remain diligent in our efforts to protect ourselves and our data. Here is what you need to know.  

Computer and Software Updates  

Operating systems and applications should be updated frequently with recent patches to protect your device and your data. University machines are updated automatically, frequently upon logout or restart. It is best practice to log off your computer daily and restart frequently.  

For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you use your university computer for your work. University laptops are encrypted, which provides another level of security.  

Security-Based Apps and Services you need to use  

Two-Step Login  

Two-Step Login is required to access many online university services. It adds another layer of security by requiring login verification from a device or codes that only you possess. What most employees don’t realize is the Duo mobile app is the most secure method of using Two-Step login. If you are using phone calls or text messages for Two-Step, switch to the app now.  

Virtual Private Network (VPN) 

Connecting to a virtual private network provides a secure tunnel for access to university services from off campus. The app we use is Cisco AnyConnect. Don’t use public wifi without connecting to VPN first.  

I’m hacked. Now what?  

If your password suddenly does not work or you notice suspicious applications installed on your computer, report the security incident to your local IT staff or the university security office.

Security when working remotely 

There are security guidelines to consider when working off campus and off the university network. We need your help to follow this list of best practices.  

What is institutional data?  

Understand the types of data you have access to so you can protect it.

Personal Computer Security 

If you occasionally use a personal computer for your work, you are responsible for the security of your computer. Recommended guidelines and steps to take to protect your equipment and what you can expect for support of personal computers can be found in the following resources:  


University employees should also be aware of physical safety threats to campus and emergency situations. Learn more about Hawk Alerts and sign up today.  

How do I stay informed? 

It is important for university employees to understand security topics and how to protect yourself and university data. Stay informed with this security information and this training resource.