Security Articles

Security begins with good prevention and basic knowledge. Learn more about information security and how to keep your data secure by reading our articles below.

Featured Topics

Whether you're on the go—or on the couch—if you connect it, do your part to protect yourself and your data.

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As staying at home becomes the new norm, here's how to secure your home network and personal devices. 

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When connecting to the University to access data and resources, make sure your devices are ready to safely connect.

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The future brings greater technological innovations, but also larger attack surfaces. Everyone must do their part to stay secure.

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Before You...

Before You Connect

Connecting to the Internet has expanded to every aspect of our lives—from collaborating with peers and colleagues to communicating with friends and family. As more applications and software are made available and accessible online, the Internet has even made it possible to successfully work and learn remotely. However, a remote lifestyle comes with its own set of security risks. How can you make sure that you are connecting to the University securely when off-campus?

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Before You Post

Social media use has been on the rise for decades. We frequently share important moments of our lives by sharing and posting pictures of our families, outings, and milestones. Unfortunately, widespread use of social media makes it an attractive platform for exploitation and misuse of our personal information.

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Before You Click

Phishing attacks can come from unexpected sources, like fake spam phone calls and emails, to solicit personal information by posing as a trustworthy organization or federal agency. It is important to be able to recognize a phishing attack to protect yourself against identity theft.

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Before You Login

Using a strong password to log in to your device or your online account is your first line of defense to protect your data. Here are some tips for developing and managing strong passwords for your accounts, and why multi-factor authentication (MFA) is so important for protecting your information.

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Before You Shop

Online shopping has never been more prevalent than in today's world. Unfortunately, it has also become a common avenue for cybercriminals to prey on unsuspecting shoppers. Your information is valuable; before you shop, be sure to protect it and your identity.
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Before You Go

Many people already practice protecting their personal belongings when they travel, but it is equally as important to adopt security habits to protect your personal and valuable information. Ensure a safer journey by following these security tips.
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Before Using Smart Devices

Smart technology, often referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), are embedded into devices, vehicles, and even homes. Potential security risks posed by these devices may be difficult to address without first understanding how they interconnect, and what type of data is collected, stored, and shared.

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Before You Duo (MFA)

Learning about multi-factor authentication may help you better understand how it is used to safeguard your personal identity, and stop a hacker from stealing your information. Multi-factor authentication methods, such as through Duo, require the use of various credentials in order to gain access to an account.

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Digital Safety

Securing Home Devices

The world has undergone a massive change in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in how we are now living our everyday lives. More people are working from home, children are being taught virtually, and most of us are staying in our homes during the day. As a result, people are connecting to their home network, which means it is more important than ever to regularly check and evaluate your network's security.

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The Cloud

Cloud computing involves storing data online rather than on a computer's hard drive. It is accessible from several devices and by several people at a time and can be used as an invaluable tool for research and collaboration. The benefits of using cloud storage include real-time collaboration and updating of files, storage availability, and consolidation, allowing thousands of files to be stored at once, in one place, and without taking up room on physical devices.
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Catfishing

Online dating and virtual friendships are becoming more common across the world, and connections are no longer limited by physical distance. This new way of connecting gave way to the rise of catfishing, which is a tactic used to get money or information, usually in order to gain access to your accounts. 
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Social Engineering

Social engineering is used as a way to manipulate people into divulging their personal information. The newest threat to Internet security is the rise of social networks, which give social engineers easy access to personal and sensitive information about your identity. Learn how to stay safe and recognize social engineering when it appears.

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Raising Digital Citizens

In today's age where Internet usage prevails in almost every aspect of our lives, children in this generation are undoubtedly the first to have been raised in an era where "going online" is very common. These generational gaps, while allowing children to be more tech-savvy, also present challenges for protecting their safety online and personal identities. As children gain more autonomy on Internet-connected devices, it is important to help raise them to be good digital citizens by encouraging safe Internet use and reviewing privacy and security settings to honor their right to privacy.
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Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency, which is an encrypted, decentralized form of alternative currency, aims to put currency control in the hands of the people using it, as opposed to a centralized banking system. It is a relatively young but innovative technology, so it is important to recognize the risks and rewards of using it.
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Protecting Our Legacy

According to the FBI, universities are "prime targets for theft of patents, Intellectual Property, research, and sensitive information." The agency released a notice on "Preventing Loss of Academic Research." Research leads to grants, which, in turn, support the University of Miami, which is a renowned research institution. The financial loss of Intellectual Property is devastating, but the longer disservice to the University is the reputation.
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Biggest Security Threats

Some of the biggest security threats to our data include extortion hacking, attacks that change or manipulate data, chip-and-pin innovations, and the rise of the Internet of Things (IOT) botnets. It is important to be able to recognize these threats and learn how to avoid them.
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Email and Mobile Security

Phishing: Don't Get Hooked

Phishing (pronounced “fishing”) is a form of fraud in which an attacker tries to learn private information by masquerading as a reputable entity or person, usually via email, phone call, or text message. The best way to combat phishing scams is to learn what it looks like, and how to protect yourself from it. Illegitimate companies will try to get you to provide sensitive information by prying through different methods of communication; learn what these communications might look like, and how to avoid them.
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Securing Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are a great resource for finding relaxing activities and helpful tools to use at work. However, apps can also gain access to your personal information, withdraw money from your account without authorization, and even take control of your entire phone. Learn how to download and use mobile apps without compromising your personal security.
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Vishing

Vishing (a combination of the words "voice" and "phishing") is the fraudulent practice of attempting to steal information or gain unauthorized access to your personal information via a telephone call. Attackers use a special technique – caller ID spoofing – to make incoming calls look like they are coming from a legitimate or known phone number.
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Pretexting

Imagine receiving a phone call from a representative claiming to be conducting research for a reputable-sounding company. The representative asks a survey of questions that seem relatively harmless such as your birth date, favorite color, your banking institution, etc. While you may think that this was a meaningless call – you may, in fact, be a victim of pretexting.

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Protecting Your Device

Password Protection

Passwords are the first line of defense in preventing unauthorized access to any computer. Although a strong password will not prevent attackers from trying to gain access, it can slow them down and discourage them. Follow these tips to learn how to create strong passwords.
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Malware

Malware is short for "malicious software," a type of computer program designed to infect someone's computer and other devices in order to inflict harm. Common forms of malware include viruses, adware (where advertisements that are laden with spyware, are displayed on websites), spyware, worms, ransomware, and trojan horse, which disguises itself as a normal file or program as to trick a user into downloading an infected tile.
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Ransomware

Ransomware is a category of malicious software that disables the functionality of a computer in some way. It has evolved to use various techniques for computer disabling, such as locking the display and thus hindering the user from accessing any programs or files. The best way to protect against these kinds of attacks is to take necessary precautions and to be aware of any suspicious emails and websites. Upkeeping good security practices (such as updating virus software) and backing up the computer's data may also help.
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Botnets

Botnets, which is a combination of the words "robot" and "network", is a group of computers (called "zombies") that have been infected with a virus that allows an attacker to secretly control them. They can be used for many victimizing schemes such as phishing and spamming.
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USB Safety

As it pertains to the internet and device security, often USB flash drives and chargers do not commonly arise as a security topic. However, devices with electronic components have firmware that can be the target for attackers seeking to infect users' computers and/or smartphones with malware. Malware can infect your device in various ways, such as turning on your webcam or installing viruses, rendering your computer unusable. Unlike powered devices, a USB drive has the sole purpose of plugging into a computer, which means it is integral to buy from a trusted vendor.
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Traveling and Holidays

Summer Travel Tips

Researchers estimate that close to 77% of Americans will take a vacation this summer, and most will bring their electronic devices with them. With this in mind, criminals are hard at work to determine how to access and steal your personal information. When taken abroad, mobile electronic devices—such as laptops, cell phones, and tablets—may be successfully attacked with malware and automated attack tools.

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Holiday Scams

There are six main types of security threats that are especially prevalent during the holiday season. Fake invoices and shipping notifications are sent by scammers (who attempt to trick shoppers into downloading viruses onto their devices) and may use faulty links, URLs, and fake surveys to lure shoppers to fall for targeted phishing attacks. Don’t let scammers ruin your holiday season; be aware of the top holiday season scams used every year.
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Seasonal Online Shopping

Each year, at the height of the shopping season, scammers often take advantage of shoppers by using scare tactics involving social media, phishing, and taking on false identities. Seasoned scammers may masquerade themselves in inconspicuous ways that shoppers often fall victim to while looking for the best deals. It is important to stick to credible and well-known sellers, and verify all online purchases when shopping online.
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Back-to-School Cybershopping

The back-to-school season offers great and exclusive deals for school supplies. However, it is also a common target for online scammers to falsely advertise school-related materials as a way to target potential victims. Exercising caution is always recommended when shopping online, particularly during high-volume seasons such as back-to-school shopping. Keep safe when shopping for your children, by following these tips.
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Don't be Fooled this Tax Season

Identity theft occurs quite often during tax season, as phishers will impersonate the IRS or other governmental agencies and will claim you owe money that is urgently due. Identity thieves may also attempt to gain access to your personal information by intercepting W-2 forms sent from your employer in the mail, or by taking your tax forms from your mailbox or your preparer's mailbox. Stay safe this tax season by learning how to protect yourself from identity theft attempts.
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Security Resolutions

As the new year rolls around and the holiday season comes to a close, our houses are filled with the newest gadgets. Many times, these devices connect to the Internet simplifying our lives in unimaginable ways. The more things we connect to our home network, the more these devices are at risk to outside threats. Resolve to be more secure this new year and protect your home network, devices, and personal information.
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A Visit from a Phisher

A holiday-themed poem about an unwelcome phishing attempt.
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