The higher education sector continues to be a target for ransomware and cyber-attacks, with criminal organisations attempting to gain access to IT systems and steal information.
These attacks are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated, and BU, like other institutions, is fighting this threat on a daily basis.
While we have IT security measures in place to help keep our systems and data safe, we all have a responsibility as individuals to be vigilant and help defend against cyber-attacks.
We’ve put together some top tips to help protect BU, and your own personal information, from cyber-attacks:
Secure your device and sensitive information
Make sure you lock your computer and mobile phone when you’re not using them. Password protect sensitive files and devices and be aware of what others may be able to see on your screen.
Back it up
Back up your system and data regularly and store it securely to make sure you don’t lose anything important. Encrypt your storage devices (e.g. a USB or your hard drive) to keep it secure if it gets lost or stolen.
Create strong and unique passwords
Avoid using easy-to-guess words or information, such as your birthday or phone number. The National Cyber Security Centre recommends using three random words to help make your password more secure.
Make sure you change your passwords regularly and use different passwords for different accounts. That way, if one is compromised, the other accounts will remain safe.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) as an additional level of security to stop hackers getting into your account, even if they have your password. We’ve recently introduced MFA to a range of BU systems and services, including Brightspace, Zoom and Microsoft Office 365, but we recommend using it on all your online accounts wherever possible.
Stay alert – check before you click
Be cautious of suspicious emails and links – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is…
Double check the source of emails and don’t open attachments or click on links from spam emails. Be especially cautious of any email asking for personal information.
Report anything suspicious
If you spot anything suspicious, or you click on a link or attachment and then realise something isn’t right, please report it as soon as possible to IT Services on 01202 965515.
If you receive any emails that look suspicious, don’t reply or click on any links. Instead, please forward the email as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow BU policies
We have a set of Information Security policies which define the ways in which students, staff and other users are expected to help keep BU’s information and IT systems secure. We’ve recently updated the policies so please take the time to have a look and ensure you know what is required of you.
Make sure you adhere to these policies when using your device on or off campus and don’t install any illegal or unsupported software, or bypass any BU security controls.
For more advice and guidance around staying safe online visit the IT security web pages