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Students Beware! Cybercrime is Spooky – Stay Safe Online with Tips & Tricks

halloween cybersecurity image

In the digital realm ghouls of the cyber world lurk, students must know what to do to protect themselves from malicious attacks. This Halloween season let’s delve into the world of cybersecurity and unravel the secrets to staying safe online!

Password Fortification: Bolster Your Digital Defense Heading link

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Use a Passphrase

Did you know that you no longer have to choose a complex, hard-to-remember password? It’s actually more secure to use a longer passphrase than a short, complex password. Instead of a jumble of characters, use random words or a phrase. Longer passphrases are both easy to remember and tough for hackers to crack. For instance, “Purple-Butterflies-Dance-Gracefully2” is a strong, memorable passphrase.

For maximum security, consider using a password manager.

With a password manager, you don’t even have to know what any of your passwords are, and you can make them as long and complex as allowed. This is a convenient and effective way to ensure that all of your accounts have unique passwords, thereby keeping your online accounts and personal information safe.

Two-Factor Authentication: Strengthening Security Layers Heading link

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Enable 2-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) requires two forms of identification for access. Enabling 2FA provides an added layer of security for your digital accounts and can protect your accounts even if your password is compromised. While receiving a 2FA passcode through a text message may be more convenient for some, using an authentication app on your mobile device is much more secure making it harder for unauthorized access. Consider enabling 2FA everywhere you can!

Beware of Phishing Attacks: Guard Against Deceptive Tactics Heading link

phishing email

Inspect Emails Carefully

Phishing remains a prevalent threat in the digital realm. Be cautious of encountering suspicious links in emails or messages, scanning QR codes, or opening attachments. Avoid sharing personal information unless you can verify the authenticity of the request to prevent falling victim to deceptive tactics.

Sounds Too Good to be True? Don’t Fall for Student Job Scams! Heading link

student inspecting email for scam content

Learn to spot the scam

Cybercriminals are targeting students eager for work with deceptive job offers that aim to steal sensitive information or request funds through cash transfers, gift cards, or cryptocurrency payments. Some scammers employ AI to craft believable emails, making offers that seem too good to pass up. They may request sensitive information, such as bank account numbers, and ask you to reply from your personal email.

It’s important for students to stay vigilant and exercise caution when encountering such offers, as these scammers use various tactics to appear legitimate.

Get Support Heading link

If you accidentally click on suspicious links, scan QR codes, open attachments, or receive emails that raise any of these red flags, please do not hesitate to forward them to the Technology Solutions Security team at Reporting these messages can help to protect you and others at UIC.