2021 October Cybersecurity Awareness Month - Students

The last 2 years have seen a dramatic increase in cybercrime.  From 2019 to 2020, there was a 435% increase in ransomware attacks, digital attacks aimed at stealing private data and holding it for ransom.  80% of these attacks used fake emails, known as phishing, to trick people into giving up their personal information.  Here at home, SPU students are scammed out of thousands of dollars every year by online scams and fraud.  How can you protect yourself?  Learn best practices for staying safe online to protect yourself and your wallet.  For more information visit  StaySafeOnline.org

Job Scams

Occasionally you may receive an email scam offering an employment opportunity from someone who appears to be associated with SPU. Please delete these messages and do not respond. All legitimate jobs at the university are posted on  SPU's Handshake platform . Employers on Handshake are vetted to guarantee their trustworthiness.  Here is a  blog post  with more information to help you identify and avoid employment scammers. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of an email message please forward it to  help@spu.edu.     NEVER purchase gift cards or provide your banking information before confirming a job is legitimate.


Phishing scams often come in the form of email messages attempting to steal your username and password. DO NOT reply to these messages or follow web links where you must confirm or enter your username and password.   If you have questions about the legitimacy of a message, trust your instincts and proceed with heightened caution. Most "account alerts" are not only sent via email but posted within your account settings/messages of the secure web site in question. If possible, navigate directly to your account through a secure web connection (https:) to verify the legitimacy of account alerts. And remember - we are here to help! If you ever have any question as to the legitimacy of an email, the please forward it to help@spu.edu for assessment. See last year's Cybersecurity Awareness Month  blog post   about phishing for additional information.


Protect Your Password

SPU will  NEVER  ask you to send or verify your login credentials or other personal/confidential information via email. Your account credentials should not be shared with anyone! Learn Password Best Practices.

Share With Care

Assume that any information you enter online is public unless you are using a known, trusted, secure site. Be careful when posting to social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), personal web pages, and blogs since these are great places for people to find personal information about you for identity theft. Once you post something, you can't take it back! 

A good rule is to only post information you would be willing to put on a banner in a public place. 

Back it Up

Protect your valuable work, music, photos and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely. If you have a copy of your data and your device falls victim to ransomware or other cyber threats, you will be able to restore the data from a backup. Use the 3-2-1 rule as a guide to backing up your data. The rule is: keep at least three (3) copies of your data, and store two (2) backup copies on different storage media, with one (1) of them stored at another location.

Keep a Clean Machine

Keep all software on internet connecting devices – including personal computers, smartphones and tablets – current to reduce risk of infection from ransomware and malware. Configure your devices to automatically update or to notify you when an update is available to ensure you always have the latest security updates protecting you.