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Cybersecurity Awareness

Find information on featured cybersecurity awareness topics.

Cybersecurity with laptop, lock, shield and profileAs we enter the Fall Quarter, we continue to prepare for fully online, hybrid and in-person environments. With many of these interactions having some tie to the virtual world, that means that you, your data and the university as a whole are vulnerable to cyberattack. There has been a surge in malicious online activity – such as data breaches and ransomware – as cybercriminals and cyberattackers leverage the heightened fear of the public during the pandemic. Here are some basic cybersecurity steps students, faculty and staff can take to keep their identity, and all that it’s attached to at the university, safe.

Think Before You Click. 

Do not click links in emails, text messages, chat boxes, etc. from people you do not know – and be suspicious of links sent from those you know as well. If you receive a suspicious email, please forward it to where it will be automatically analyzed and the results used to prevent additional deliveries.

Protect Your Personal Information.

Personal information is any information that can be used to identify you or your accounts. Examples include your name, address, phone number, usernames and passwords, pictures, birthday and social security number. Don't post or share this information with others.

Protect Your Computer. 

Be sure to keep your laptop or tablet close to you. When you’re done using it for the day, put it in a safe place at home. Don’t leave it by itself outside or in a public place.

Use LastPass Password Manager. 

Because there are a lot more threats out there during the pandemic, there are plenty of bad actors looking to take over accounts. The easiest way to protect your accounts from being compromised is to use long, complex, and unique passwords and the easiest way to do that is to use LastPass password manager. Learn more about LastPass.

Use Two-Step Login. 

Double down on your account security with two-step login, or multi-factor authentication. Two-step login adds a second check to verify your identity when logging in to one of your accounts. This helps keep your account from being compromised even if your password falls into the wrong hands. Learn more about two-step login. 

Maintain a Secure Workstation. 

Campus policy requires that all devices connected to the UCSD network adhere to the minimum network security standards. Devices that do not meet the standards, or represent a security threat, may be prevented from accessing the campus network. Learn about meeting the most basic components of the standards, based on various perspectives (from a computer user, remote user, system administrator, or administrative official).

Update, Update Update. 

Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system on devices is one of the best defenses against online threats. When the computer or device says it’s time to update the software, don’t click postpone. Update. Even better, enable auto-updates where possible.

Run Your Antivirus Software. 

While no antivirus software is perfect, they are effective at stopping a variety of malicious attacks on your computer. Antivirus software is required for any device running on the UC San Diego network, including personal devices. Learn more about antivirus software.

 Apply Your Research Skills. 

Apps are a great way to learn, have fun or get things done. Before downloading any new app on your device, make sure it’s a legitimate app. Who created the app? What do the user reviews say? Are there any articles published online about the app’s privacy & security features (or lack thereof)?

Configure Your Settings. 

Whether you’re are teaching or learning in a new platform such as Zoom, take a moment to explore the privacy and security settings to limit disruptions and improve the experience. For example, create passwords so only those invited to the session can attend. Another example would be to restrict who can share their screen or files with the rest of the group. If you still need help, reach out to for help. 

Maintain a Clean Workspace. 

If you're using a shared workspace, be conscious of clearing it of sensitive, nonpublic information, especially when you have to step away. Also, avoid printing out sensitive information at home or in public spaces if it's not necessary. In addition, if you are listening in on or participating in meetings that could be considered sensitive or in which you share nonpublic information, be sure to put on headphones.

For more information, contact IT Services' Office of Information Assurance at

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