Reminder: Cybersecurity vigilance is important

As many of our staff and students continue operating remotely during the global pandemic, basic security measures need to be taken to protect us from cyber criminals who are taking advantage of institutions and individuals during the crisis. 

To support our campus community in staying safe online, we have provided several tips and reminders that will not only help raise awareness of potential cyber pitfalls, but also learn how to avoid them.

Case in point, in previous weeks an ordinary appearing email with the subject ‘Reminder to sign document University Arkansas Little Rock School’ was mailed from a non-campus sender to a campus user. This type of email is particularly dangerous as it not only contains malicious code that leads to data loss, but worse, this email has a ‘tracking’ device that allows the criminal sending it to know exactly when it was viewed, what device was used, and where the user is located.

photo image of opened email with an attachment .

If you have any questions regarding suspicious situations, please contact IT Services for assistance.

More information regarding best practices for staying safe online is available at the COVID-19 Security Resource Library located on the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA) website.

Email and SMS protection

  • Do not click on any link in an email or SMS (text message) if the sender is unknown to you. Report a suspicious email on the IT Services website. 
  • Examine the email address and URLs in all correspondence. Scammers often mimic a legitimate site or email address by using a slight variation in spelling.
  • If an unsolicited email, text message, or phone call asks you to update or verify your account information, do not follow the link or call the phone number provided in the message itself. Instead, go to the company’s official website, log into your account, and verify whether something does in fact need your attention.
  • Do not open any attachments unless you are expecting the file, document, or invoice and have verified the sender’s email address.
  • Scrutinize all electronic requests for a payment or transfer of funds and do not perform any UA Little Rock related financial transaction without getting proper approval.
  • Be extra suspicious of any message that urges immediate action.

Phone calls 

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) will not contact you by phone. 
  • If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be from the IRS, hang up the phone. You can call the IRS back using the official number posted on their website
  • If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be from the SSA, hang up the phone. You can call the SSA back using the official number posted on their website.
  • If someone calls asking you to buy gift cards, just hang up.

Video conferencing systems

  • User passwords should be utilized.
  • Do not share meeting links on social media.
  • Use the waiting room feature to be sure of the identity of attendees.
  • If you are not the organizer, you can verify if the meeting is being recorded.
  • If you are being recorded, you can request the organizer to stop the recording.

Protecting UA Little Rock Data

  • Do not download UA Little Rock data to your personal devices.
  • Keep UA Little Rock data on campus systems.
  • Use the UA Little Rock virtual private network (VPN) to connect to campus resources.

Anti-virus software

  • Always use and keep enabled the endpoint security solution IT Services provided.
  • Perform full disc scans on a regular basis.

E-commerce sites

  • Always use reputable e-commerce sites.
  • If a website is offering an incredible price for an item, be very suspicious and always double-check the legitimacy of the offer.
  • Verify the security certificate of the web site.
  • If you are using any system that connects buyers and sellers, such as eBay or OfferUp, verify the users that are selling the item.
  • If you plan to physically meet to buy or sell an item, choose a public location for the transaction.

 

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