October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and Michigan State University Information Technology wants to ensure that you stay safe and secure online–which means more than just creating a strong password. Protecting yourself and the MSU community is all about increasing your knowledge so that you can decrease cybersecurity risk. You might not think your data is worth protecting, but your MSU credentials can be used as a gateway to important institutional data. The more aware you are, the more secure you will be. Learn about good cybersecurity hygiene at secureit.msu.edu.
Cyber scams and phishing
As technology progresses, so does cybercriminals’ creativity with cyber scams. While their attempts can be tough to spot, they're not impossible. Bad actors tend to use times or themes of uncertainty, as we’ve seen with global events, like the crisis in Ukraine or the coronavirus pandemic, or more locally, student loan reimbursements surrounding the beginning of a new semester.
Understanding standard cybersecurity practices is the best way to #SecureState and safeguard against potential cyber threats. Even if you don’t think you have sensitive information to steal, cyber attackers could use your accounts or devices as an open door to MSU.
Scammers use emails, texts, and calls to try to steal your personal info. Follow these tips to avoid their tricks:
- Beware of any request for your personal information
- Legitimate entities will never reach out to you asking for things like your social security number, passwords, bank or credit card details, or multifactor security codes
- Be suspicious of unexpected offers for employment, student loan or grants, and awards winnings
- Notice the red flags:
- A sense of urgency
- Poor grammar and spelling
- Strange email addresses or phone numbers
- If you receive a suspicious email to your MSU email account, don’t click on the links
- Forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you think any of your accounts have been compromised, immediately change your password
- If you need assistance with your MSU accounts, contact MSU IT Service Desk at 517-432-6200
- If you’re not sure if it’s spam, consider calling the source directly to verify the info
- Get the phone number directly from their website (don’t click the links or call numbers in a suspicious email)
- If you have questions or concerns about your financial aid, contact the MSU Office of Financial Aid directly at 517-353-5940