October 06, 2022

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

During the month of October, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) acknowledges National Cybersecurity Awareness Month by sharing information through a variety of methods including informative articles, infographics, challenges, and lunch and learns. 

This information is directed at everyday users, because approximately 44% of all cyber incidents are facilitated by unsuspecting people. A single mistake can open the door for criminal activity and cost you, others and the university much more than time or money — a single breach can destroy trust earned over decades. To kick off the OIT awareness campaign, the OIT is offering a short course on cybersecurity to all faculty and staff to refresh knowledge about cyber-safe best practices. The course is available in D2L and takes about 20 minutes to complete. 

The course walks you through these tips and provides feedback on your understanding. 

This month, the OIT lunch-and-learn series — part of the Chancellor’s Faculty-Staff Lounge at Old Main — resolves around cybersecurity. The topics and registration for any or all three sessions is available. The first session is Friday, Oct. 7. 

Here is a summary of cybersecurity risks and some keys to remember when it comes to cyber safety. 

Key No. 1 — Be aware! 

Knowledge and diligence keep individuals and SIU Carbondale safe from cybercrime. 

Key No. 2 ­— Lock down access 

Every device, account, system and network has an access point. When security around these access points is weak, cyber criminals can penetrate devices and systems and create chaos. Help fortify access points to personal and university devices and systems by practicing the following: 

  • Creating strong passwords or using a password wallet like Last Pass.
  • Using a virtual private networks (VPN). VPN requests are made here

Key No. 3 ­— Be suspicious. Examine every email before responding or acting. 

  • Look for the big red message at the top of every SIU email; it is from an external sender.
  • Scrutinize links and attachments before clicking on or opening them.
  • Think before you click. Malicious links can open the door for cybercriminals.
  • Be wary of unexpected attachments. Verify the sender before opening. 

Key No. 4 — Protect sensitive data whether on paper or in a virtual environment. 

SIU devices are scanned on a regular basis for sensitive data — a process that can be run manually by the OIT or any departmental LAN administrator. 

  • Avoid sharing personal or university information online, via text, or by phone.

Get help immediately if you think you may have stepped into a cyber trap. 

The quickest source of help is SalukiTech staff at 618-453-5155 or salukitech@siu.edu

If you encounter what you believe to be a scam or spam email and have not interacted with it, use the “Report Message” button at the top right of the Outlook screen to report the email. This protects the entire campus community.