Help us keep the IT systems safe

The global cyber-attack on computer networks in UK last week has again highlighted the need to keep our IT systems and devices safe. The malware used in the attack may have been initially spread through email.

While IT colleagues do all they can to prevent malicious emails and rogue applications from getting through, it is possible that some will get through.

Here is a quick reminder of what you can do to help control the spread of any malware or rogue applications:

Emails and viruses

  • Please treat emails from an unfamiliar address to your University account with caution.
  • If an email seems suspicious, please notify Service Desk by calling extension 6262.
  • Avoid clicking any link or open any attachment in such an email.
  • An email asking for your password or asking you to log on to a site is potentially dangerous.
  • It is always a good idea to hover your mouse cursor over a link before clicking it. If the website it is pointing to seems unfamiliar, do not click on it.
  • Pay attention to email attachments: files named Invoice, file extensions ZIP, EXE, JS files are particularly suspect
  • Delete anything suspicious from your ‘Inbox’ and ‘Deleted Items’ folders in Outlook
  • If you detect a virus on your computer, please notify the Service Desk immediately.

Passwords

  • Do not share your personal passwords with anyone.
  • Avoid writing down your passwords.
  • Use strong passwords: at least 8 characters, include upper and lower case letters and special characters.
  • Do not disclose shared account passwords to unauthorised people

Physical Security

  • Report any security incidents and issues to the IT Service Desk immediately.
  • Lock your computer screen (Press “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” then “Lock this computer”, or Windows button+L) if you leave your seat temporarily.
  • Avoid leaving confidential documents unlocked or exposed.
  • Never share your campus card.

Computer security

  • Do not install software that is not necessary for your work.
  • Only use trusted sites when downloading software.

If for any reason you still have a Windows XP machine then you should not turn it on, but contact IT for advice.

The IT department have been working on a major review of IT security over the last year and this is ongoing with new protection and detection systems being implemented and additional resource being made available. A substantial project over several years has also massively reduced the use of Windows XP machines across campus, but other systems are still vulnerable. It is critical and that we continue to remain vigilant and follow good security advice and practice.

Additional information of last week’s cyber-attack can be found on the National Cyber Security Centre. The UK government has also produced Cyber Aware, a comprehensive guide to keeping safe online.

If you have any questions or concerns about online content or emails you have received, log a call with the IT department through the online portal  or phone 6262 to get support.