You’ve seen the headlines: Organizations large and small falling victim to data breaches and hackers’ increasingly sophisticated schemes. No one is immune to their efforts, but you can protect yourself — and the university — by maintaining cyber security vigilance.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and a good opportunity to remind ourselves that information and systems we use to carry out the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service must be safeguarded.
To keep your information — and that of the university — safe, it is important to incorporate good cyber security habits into your daily routine.
Sometimes, however, though you do everything right, you can still find that you’ve become a victim. For example, numerous data breaches at well-known companies have affected millions due to no fault of the people impacted. In addition, natural disasters are often followed by a wave of scams, such as phony donation websites.
Here are three tips to help you protect yourself from the unexpected:
- Review your bank and credit card statements monthly. This is often the first place you will see signs of identity theft. If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, see the identity theft resources here for help.
- Back up your critical files — at home and at work. Store backups in a physically separate location from the originals, and test them periodically.
- Always think twice before clicking on links or opening attachments. This is the best way to protect yourself from scammers. Whenever possible, go to web pages by a path you know is legitimate instead of clicking on a link in a message. And if an attachment is unexpected, contact the sender by a method you know is legitimate to confirm he or she sent it.
For more information on cybersecurity at UCSB, visit https://security.ucsb.edu. Additional cyber security awareness information and resources are available on UC’s Information Security Awareness website at https://security.ucop.edu/resources/security-awareness/index.html.
Information about the National Cyber Security Awareness Month campaign can be found at https://staysafeonline.org/ncsam/about/.