Digital Security and Online Safety
Angelo State University is working hard to protect its users from online threats, but we all must do our part to help make the internet more safe and secure.
Phishing is usually an attempt to deceive you into thinking a legitimate organization is requesting information from you in order to gain access to personal or sensitive information.
You can pick up a virus and other malware from attachments in emails, messages, websites, and other untrusted sources. If you are not protected, once infected, viruses can spread to other devices.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name or personal information, like Social Security, driver’s license, credit card, or telephone number, without permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
Tips to Stay Safe
Keep your software updated
Watch out for phishing
If you get an email or text you were not expecting and it asks for sensitive information, delete it. It could be a phishing attempt. Do not give out personal information such as your password, credit card number, Social Security number, home address or phone number.
Think twice before clicking links
If you get an unexpected or suspicious email, be cautious with links and attachments. When in doubt about a link, do not click!
Use good passwords
Manage your privacy
Sharing is fun, but do not make your personal information public. Do not share photos of your credit or debit cards. If you post about a trip online, don’t be specific about when, and make sure you turn off location data for posts and photos. If someone posts or tags photos of you on social media without your permission, ask them to take it down.
Protect your devices
To prevent physical theft, never leave your devices unattended in public. When you leave your devices in your room on campus, don’t leave them in plain sight. Use a cable lock for laptops and other devices to keep them secure.
Use public computers very carefully
Don’t use accounts that you need to log into. Never save your passwords on the websites you visit. Always log out before leaving a website. Delete all files you may have downloaded or saved from the device.
Only shop on secure sites
Do not use public computers to make payments for anything. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or your smartphone’s hotspot for more secure browsing. Check for the padlock icon in your browser and that the URL starts with https:// before entering any payment information. Search for reviews to make sure the website is safe.
Check your bank statements frequently
Review your credit card, checking, and other account activity regularly to make sure all transactions are legitimate. Call your bank or credit union to discuss any suspicious account items.
Back everything up
Store your school work and personal data safely on your cloud accounts and on an external drive. External drives are very inexpensive and available even when Internet connectivity isn’t.
Prepare for ransomware
Do not click links or open file attachments from emails that you were not expecting or seem suspicious. Hackers can remotely lock your computer and keep your files encrypted until you pay them. Do not pay the ransom! Use antivirus/antimalware software that protects against ransomware. Seek help from a trusted source for a safe response.
Learn what to do in case of a data breach
If your personal information is publicly exposed or you receive a notice that there is a breach impacting any of your accounts, immediately change your passwords starting with accounts that control money such as banks, credit cards, or investment accounts.