cy·ber·threat

/ˈsībər  THret/

noun

the possibility of a malicious attempt to damage or disrupt a computer network or system

Cyber threats can happen in many ways. Some of the most common attacks are:

  • Denial-of-Service (DoS)
  • Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack
  • Phishing and spear phishing attacks
  • Drive-by attack
  • Password attack
  • SQL injection attack
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS) attack
  • Eavesdropping attack
  • Birthday attack
  • Malware attack

Cyber threats can result in a number of cyber crimes (online identity theft, financial fraud, stalking, bullying, hacking, email spoofing, information piracy, forgery, intellectual property crime, extortion, etc.). With our increasing dependency on technology, knowing how to protect your mobile devices is crucial. At WashU, cybersecurity is our shared responsibility. We all must adopt and consistently use information security safety best practices to protect our university, student, patient and personal data as well as intellectual property.

Cybersecurity is our shared responsibility. Below, you’ll find a tips to empower you to protect information from potential cyber threats.

Safety Tips

AT WORK

  • Get a push:Confirm that you’re enrolled in WashU 2FA two-factor authentication service, Keep you enrollment information updated and know how to enroll new devices.
  • Unique account, unique password: Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.
  • When in doubt, throw it out: Links in emails, social media posts and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.
  • Back it up:Protect your valuable work. WashU IT makes it easy with WUSTL Box and O365 OneDrive.

 

AT HOME

  • Get everyone involved:Hold a family “tech talk” and discuss ways everyone in the household can stay safe online. The National Cyber Security Alliance has developed tips for parents on raising privacy-saavy kids.
  • Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.
  • Automate software updates: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.
  • Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Along with computers, smartphones, gaming systems and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
  • Plug & scan:USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.
  • Unique account, unique password: Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.
  • Back it up:Protect your valuable work, music, photos and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.
  • When in doubt, throw it out: Links in emails, social media posts and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.
  • Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.
  • Protect your $$:When banking and shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://,” which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.
  • Be aware of what’s being shared: Set the privacy and security settings on web services and devices to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s OK to limit how and with whom you share information.

What To Do If You’re a Victim

If you suspect a cyber threat, contact the Information Security Office immediately at infosec@wustl.edu or 314-747-2955.

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