Secure Bird logo with #isusecuretherebirdisu and @isuithelpOctober is Cybersecurity Awareness month, and Administrative Technologies strives to keep you informed and up to date on all things cybersafety.

Cybersecurity isn’t always something we think about, but it is something that is becoming more and more important for us to stay up-to-date on. Think about it, almost everything we do is online. We bank online, we shop online, we submit assignments online. Cybersecurity measures make sure that your information does not fall into the hands of malicious characters that want to steal your identity.
Let’s talk about the top 3 security concerns and how you can keep your information safe!


Phishing emails are emails that come from an outside source or compromised accounts framed as information from the University, fake job offers, or opportunities to purchase gift-cards. These scam messages aim to get you to give away your personal information like your ULID and password. When you receive an email that seems suspicious make sure you look at the following elements:

1. Subject lines: Subject lines that have too- good-to-be-true offers and/ or threatening statements may be clues that someone is trying to phish you.
2. Sender addresses: Mass emails and unexpected email aliases may look like they come from a reliable source but look closely at the sender address for misspellings.
3. Email message: Phishing emails have links that redirect you to log in pages that may lead to unreasonable free offers or threaten legal action. Keep in mind Illinois State University will never ask you for your ULID or password in an email.
4. Email signature: Generically addressed and signed messages (“Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam”), especially those that ask for personal information, should not be trusted sources.
5. Web addresses: Hover over the hyperlink to see where the URL would redirect you to if you clicked on it. Many phishing attempts use real business names in fake URLs so be sure to check the validity.

If you think you may have been victim of a phishing email, contact the Technology Support Center at (309) 438-4357 (HELP) or visit 115 Julian Hall for help!

Password strength

When creating a password for any account, it is important that you focus on password security. Choose a password or a passphrase that is easy for you to remember but will be difficult for someone else to guess. These passwords/ passphrases should include numbers and special characters and should be unique to each account!

Here are some other things to consider about your passwords:

1. NEVER send your password in an email. It is one-way ticket to becoming a victim of phishing.
2. DO NOT share your password with anyone!
3. DO NOT write down your password if you can’t remember it, use a password manager instead.
4. If you think that someone may know your password or think that your account may be compromised, change your password right away.
5. DO NOT type your password while anyone is watching!
If you become locked out of your account or need help changing your password, contact the technology Support Center for help!

Free Wi-Fi and secure networks

Free Wi-Fi is great, right? It can be, but it is important to understand that most public Wi-Fi signals are not protected. This means malicious characters on the same public network as you have the ability to see your information. When you are working on an unsecure public network, make sure you are not sharing any personal details such as banking info, social security numbers, or sensitive work information.

Keep your information safe and all of your accounts secure! For more information visit the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies website to find out more National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.