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Five simple tips to be cyber secure at work

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure that everyone has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is committed to encouraging personal accountability, securing behaviors and maintaining digital privacy in the cybersecurity landscape. This year’s pun-happy theme is “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.”

Everyone constantly hears how important it is to keep personal information safe; it’s just as important to keep Boise State information secure. Creating a culture of cybersecurity is an essential and a shared responsibility among all employees. Cybersecurity in the workplace is everyone’s business.

Courtesy of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies, here are five simple tips to be cyber secure at work:

Treat business information as personal information

Business information typically includes a mix of personal and proprietary data. While individuals may automatically think of trade secrets and company credit accounts, this also includes employee personally identifiable information (PII) through tax forms and payroll accounts. Do not share PII with unknown parties or over unsecured networks.

Technology has its limits

As “smart” or data-driven technology evolves, it is important to remember that security measures only work if used correctly by employees. Smart technology runs on data, meaning devices such as smartphones, laptop computers, wireless printers and other devices are constantly exchanging data to complete tasks. Take proper security precautions and ensure correct configuration to wireless devices in order to prevent data breaches.

For instance: Are you using eduroam to connect wirelessly? VPN when connecting to public WiFi networks? Both are encrypted and secure!

Be up to date

Keep software updated to the latest version available. Maintain security settings to keep personal information safe by turning on automatic updates and set security software to run regular scans.

Social media is part of the fraud toolset

By searching Google and scanning an organization’s social media sites, cybercriminals can gather information about employees’ partners and vendors, as well as human resources and financial departments. Employees should avoid oversharing on social media and should not conduct official business, exchange payment or share personal identifying information on social media platforms.

It only takes one time

Data breaches do not typically happen when a cybercriminal has hacked into an organization’s infrastructure. Many data breaches can be traced back to a single security vulnerability, phishing attempt or instance of accidental exposure. Be wary of unusual sources, do not click on unknown links and delete suspicious messages immediately.

If you have questions, suspect a phishing attempt or are unsure if your software is up-to-date, contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or email