December News from Information Security

It’s December out there (and inside wherever you are reading this)!

December brings with it lots of spending, lots of new gadgets, and lots of fraud! Cyber-criminals are chomping at the bit to steal your money, credentials, and anything else they can get their hands on. As you go about your holiday shopping, most of it probably online, keep these tips in mind for a safe holiday shopping experience.
1. As always, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is not true.
2. Don’t be sucked into shady shopping sites. Stick with reputable all-and-everything sites like Amazon, Walmart, and Target, or popular brand sites, like Gap, American Eagle, Home Depot and REI.
3. If you don’t regularly shop at a particular online store, don’t save your credit or debit card information there. Make your purchase as a guest, or fill out a one-time purchase form.
4. Be wary of brand look-alike offers and emails. Scammers know you are in a hurry already this time of year, so be extra cautious with all those “amazing deal” emails.
5. Be sure to check your credit card and bank statements regularly, but especially around the holidays.

In addition to these holiday shopping tips, I want to remind everyone that the idle workstation lock policy will go into effect in January 6th. Again, this simply means that most college maintained computers on campus, if left idle for ten minutes, will lock the desktop, requiring the user to enter their credentials to regain access. Information Technology has been working hard to make sure this policy does not impact computers in classrooms, meeting rooms, and other places where there is a potential for the policy to interrupt classes or meetings.

There will not be an Information Security table in Krannert during December or security awareness posters distributed, but both will return in January. Also returning in January will be the LunchITS security awareness sessions. There will be two of these in January, one on account security, and the other on general security awareness. They will be posted to the Events Calendar here on the News & Alerts site and on the college calendar.

Remember you can always check back here for warnings about current phishing emails, confirmations of valid emails you might have a question about, and data breach notifications. There’s also the Q&A section, where you can ask a question and get an answer directly from me.

Also coming in the new year is another in-house written, filmed, and produced security awareness video. There will be an announcement in the January newsletter with more information.

It will be 2020 before there is another newsletter, so I hope you like the image above.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday break, find amazing deals, and enjoy your time with your friends and family.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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