Staying cybersafe over the holiday period.

From banking to shopping, and streaming to social media, people are spending more time than ever online.

This means more opportunities for hackers to carry out cyber attacks. They often do this by targeting people and businesses using:

  • email and website scams
  • malware – software that can damage your device or let a hacker in

If hackers get into your device or accounts, they could access your money, your personal information, or information about the University.

You can improve your cyber security by taking six actions:

  1. Use a strong and separate password for your email (Make sure your University password is different to any other password you use.)
  2. Create strong passwords using 3 random words
  3. Save your passwords in your browser
  4. Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) (This has been turned on for University services – If you need any help with this please email information.centre@stir.ac.uk)
  5. Update your devices (and your antivirus)
  6. Back up your data (if you are using OneDrive and SharePoint this is done for you)

Shop Securely online

Many of us are spending more time than ever shopping online. The online shopping guidance from National Cyber Security Centre can help you to avoid scam websites, and purchase items safely. Read the full guide here .

Below are a few tips;

  • Choose carefully where you shop
  • Use a credit card for online payments
  • Only provide enough details to complete your purchase
  • Keep your accounts secure
  • Watch out for suspicious emails, text messages and websites

Buying and selling second hand devices

Our devices – and especially our smartphones – contain more work, personal and financial data than ever before. If you are selling, giving away, or trading in your smartphone (or other device), you should erase all of this personal data so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Read the guide from National Cyber Security Centre to find out how to do this.

Password managers

Need help remembering all your online passwords? Get a password manager. A password manager is an app on your phone, tablet or computer that stores your passwords securely, so you don’t need to remember them all. Some password managers can synchronise your passwords across your different devices, making it easier to log on, wherever you are. Some can also create random, unique passwords for you, when you need to create a new password (or change an existing one). For more information about password managers read an earlier IS News item.

Secure your device with a screen lock.

Screen locks offer your devices an important extra layer of security.

Screen locks offer your devices an important extra layer of security. Each time you want to unlock your device or switch it on, you’ll be asked to enter a PIN, password or fingerprint. This means that if someone gets hold of your device they can’t access the data on your device without entering your password, pattern, PIN or fingerprint.

Don’t use ‘1,2,3,4’ or an ‘L’ shaped pattern which are easy for other people to guess.

Personally identifiable Information.

PII is personally identifiable information and hackers use this to help them crack passwords and work their way into your confidence for scams. Consider setting your social media profiles so that only friends can see what you put online.

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