Each and every one of us needs to do our part to make sure our online lives are safe and secure. What can you do to make you and your friends, classmates and colleagues safer?
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Follow UBIT on Twitter and Facebook all month long for #BeCyberSmart tips on securing your connected devices at home, school and work.
It’s easy to think of cyber security as protecting your own devices and personal information. But we live in an interconnected world, and when you practice cyber security, it makes all of us safer.
What can you do? Implementing stronger security practices is a good start. Make sure you use a strong, unique password every time you sign up for a new service; when you use the same password in multiple places, every account where you use that password becomes less secure.
Better yet, use a passphrase—like a password, but a longer phrase that’s easier for you to remember, and more secure too.
Next, level up your online security by studying up on the common types of scams that might target you and attempt to steal your money or personal information:
- Job/Internship scams: Someone contacts you, usually by email, and invites you to apply for or start a job or internship. Does it seem too good to be true? Make sure you know how to spot a scam. These emails might even look like they come from someone at UB.
- Scams impersonating people at UB: Scammers target students by sending email claiming to be real people from UB—faculty, supervisors, high-level employees or even other students—and asking them to make gift card purchases on their behalf.
- Social media scams: Phishing happens on social media too. Be wary of links or attachments sent through direct messages on social media, even if those messages are coming from someone you know—their account might be compromised! Find out how to take control of your security settings on social media.
- Financial aid scams: At the beginning of the semester, scam emails often target college students with the goal of stealing their financial aid or refunds. Remember: UB will never ask for your password. You should never log into a website you arrived at through a link in an email—always type in the address yourself.
- QR code scam: There’s a new phishing scam targeting the UB community. Fraudulent emails, posing as UB's HR department, claim that HR/Payroll shared a file with a QR code for access. Watch out for telltale signs: check the sender's email (it won't be a UB @buffalo.edu address), unusual subject lines, and the unusual request for QR code scanning. If you've fallen victim, change your UBITName password and reach out to UBIT Help Center immediately for support.
If you have any reason to believe your UBITName account has been compromised, change your password immediately—log into the UBITName Manager at ubidm.buffalo.edu, or contact the UBIT Help Center at 716-645-3542, or online at buffalo.edu/ubit/help.
If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, you can report the theft and make a recovery plan at identitytheft.gov.
You can always find the latest tips and alerts about cyber security on the UBIT website—just visit buffalo.edu/ubit/safe.