Illinois Institute of Technology cares about the security of its students, faculty, and staff and their data. In the fall of 2021, as part of its cybersecurity initiative, the university established a new department within the Office of Technology Services (OTS), namely, Cyber-Tech Security (CTS). One of the goals of CTS is to establish a culture of cybersecurity at Illinois Tech.

Cybersecurity Best Practices: Protecting Your Digital Life

Strong, Unique Passwords:

  • Create complex passwords with a mix of uppercase, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Avoid using easily guessable information such as birthdays or common words.
  • Consider using a reputable password manager to generate and store unique passwords for each of your accounts.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):

  • Enable 2FA whenever possible to add an extra layer of security to your accounts.
  • 2FA requires a second form of verification (such as a text message or app notification) in addition to your password, making it significantly harder for unauthorized individuals to access your accounts.

Be Cautious with Emails and Links:

  • Be skeptical of unexpected emails, especially those requesting sensitive information or urging urgent action.
  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.
  • Verify the legitimacy of emails by checking the sender's email address and contacting the sender through official channels if in doubt.

Apply Software Updates:

  • Keep your operating system, antivirus software, and applications up-to-date.
  • Regular updates often contain security patches that protect your devices from known vulnerabilities.

Secure Your Wi-Fi Network:

  • Change default Wi-Fi passwords to strong, unique ones.
  • Use WPA3 encryption for your Wi-Fi network, which provides stronger security than older encryption methods.
  • Disable guest networks if not in use, and regularly review connected devices.

Social Media Awareness:

  • Be mindful of the information you share on social media platforms.
  • Review and adjust privacy settings to control who can see your posts, personal information, and friend lists.

Data Backup:

  • Regularly back up your important files to an external hard drive or secure cloud storage service.
  • In the event of a ransomware attack or data loss, having backup copies ensures you can restore your files without paying a ransom.

Report Suspicious Activity:

  • If you encounter suspicious emails, websites, or activities, report them to the university's IT support or cybersecurity team immediately.
  • Your vigilance can prevent cyber threats from spreading within the university community.

By following these cybersecurity best practices, you not only protect yourself but also contribute to a safer digital environment for everyone at Illinois Tech. Stay vigilant, stay safe, and let's create a secure digital space together!