Cyber Security Tips

These tips are intended to provide resources and tools to help you keep your computer secure and operating properly. For more information on cyber security, visit the ISU IT Stay Cyber Safe web page, read our blog or view our YouTube playlist on cyber security.

Update software regularly

Updating your software regularly helps prevent vulnerabilities on your computer or device. Setting up automatic updates for your operating system ensures that your software will always be up-to-date. Refer to the following links for more information on how to set up automatic updates:

Use Iowa State's VPN

When accessing sensitive data from an off-campus connection, be sure to use Iowa State’s virtual private network (VPN) to access the network safely and securely via your computer or mobile device.

Use strong passwords

Passwords are the number-one target for hackers and cyber criminals, but having quality passwords can reduce the chance of your information being compromised. Here are some common guidelines when it comes to passwords:

  • Passwords should be long and complex.
  • You should never share your passwords with anyone.
  • Keep your passwords secure and avoid writing them down.
  • Create a unique password for every account.

For more information on creating strong passwords read our blog.

Beware of phishing scams

Phishing is the term used to describe the process of hackers attempting to steal your personal information by impersonating a trusted source. These types of scams include e-mails or text messages that appear to come from trusted sources and ask you to click on a link, which takes you to a phony site, and input personal information. Avoid being the victim of a phishing scam by:

  • Typing in the original website URL rather than clicking on a link provided in an e-mail.
  • Never providing a password or username within an e-mail or over the phone.
  • Checking the URL of the link provided in the e-mail to see if it is one you recognize. To do this, hover your cursor over the link and check the lower left hand side of your web browser to see if the link is authentic. 
  • Not opening e-mails or attachments, downloading files or following web links from unknown sources.

Use updated antivirus software

It is important to use antivirus software on your computer and devices to ward off viruses and other forms of malware, and keep them running properly.

For additional questions about registering or connecting your devices please contact the Solution Center.