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OIT’s Cybersecurity department coordinates University information security initiatives, creates awareness for information security issues, and investigates information security incidents.

Data Privacy Day January 28th

Data Privacy Day Champion Logo

Data Privacy Day is a global effort — taking place annually on January 28th — that generates awareness about the importance of privacy, highlights easy ways to protect personal information and reminds organizations that privacy is good for business.

“Own Your Privacy”

Individuals feel an increasing lack of control over their personal data. However, there are steps you can take to learn about the types of data you’re generating online, and how it’s collected, shared and used. Follow these basic privacy tips to help you better manage your personal information and make informed decisions about who receives your data.

Personal info is like money: Value it. Protect it. Personal information, such as your purchase history, IP address, or location, has tremendous value to businesses – just like money. Make informed decisions about whether or not to share your data with certain businesses by considering the amount of personal information they are asking for, and weighing it against the benefits you may receive in return.

Keep tabs on your apps. Many apps ask for access to personal information, such as your geographic location, contacts list and photo album, before you can use their services. Be thoughtful about who gets that information, and wary of apps that require access to information that is not required or relevant for the services they are offering. Delete unused apps on your internet-connect devices and keep others secure by performing updates.

Manage your privacy settings. Check the privacy and security settings on web services and apps and set them to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application or browser you use will have different features to limit how and with whom you share information. Get started with NCSA’s Manage Your Privacy Settings page:

Use Boise State's Virtual Private Network (VPN) While Working Remote

NCSAM People and Security Shield image

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) reminds all faculty and staff to use the university’s virtual private network (VPN) service when working remote.

The remote access policy (policy 8130) details the requirements for remote access to Boise State computing resources and serves to minimize potential exposure to Boise State from damages caused by unauthorized use, including loss of protected data, intellectual property and harm to critical university systems.

All faculty and staff (including active student employees) have access to the Boise State VPN service. Information about installing and using VPN is available on OIT’s website.

For questions or additional information about Boise State’s VPN service, contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or

Working Securely While Working Remote

Organizations across the globe are requiring their teams to work remotely to help protect against growing health concerns related to the COVID-19 virus. Now more than ever employees working remotely must keep their cyber-hygiene top of mind to help thwart cybercriminals who are looking to take advantage of this global crisis.

Below are some recommendations from to telework securely. These tips have been adjusted slightly to fit Boise State.

  • Think Before You Click (when in doubt, throw it out). Be cautious of links and attachments within emails.
  • Lock Down Your Login (Ctrl+Alt+Delete before you leave your seat).
  • Connect to Boise State’s secure Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  • Secure your wireless home network.
  • Keep devices with you at all times or stored in a secure location.
  • Limit access to the devices you use for work.
  • Preference to use Boise State owned and managed devices over personal devices.
  • Keep your device’s operating system and antivirus up-to-date.

Another good resource is to review the OIT webpage for working remotely.

Need Assistance?
For more information, contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or email

“Are you available ?” – Phishing Scam

iTunes gift card

This phishing scam is trying to get clicks in University emails. Some users have reported they received an email (which looks like it’s coming from a supervisor) that is trying to solicit a conversation/reply email.

Here is a sample of the message:

Date: February 1, 2020 at 9:37:12 AM MST
To: [Your email]

Are you available?


While this email is simple and doesn’t have any malicious attachments it is using social engineering to get a response email from an unsuspecting user, but the sender isn’t the correct email and most do not come from a domain.

Once this type of scam has been interacted with, the scammer usually makes up an excuse about being in a meeting and wants the recipient to do an important favor as soon as possible. The favor the scammer wants is for the recipient to purchase iTunes gift cards, scratch off the pin numbers and send them back a picture of the cards and pin.

Tips to avoid becoming the victim of a scam

Always check the address of who the email is coming from. Many times scammers will use a similar name or try and add Boise State in the address to trick users. One important part is to look for what comes after the “@” symbol – this is the domain part. Domains listed with,,, are not university emails and users should exercise cautions before responding to these emails.

If using a mobile device sometimes the full email address does not show automatically. You can check the address by clicking on the view details. This is usually located at the top of the email with the sender, recipient, and date information. All mobile devices and mail apps differ so it’s best to confirm with your manufacturer and/or application on the best way to view details.

If you are unsure about an email contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357, email at, or chat online.

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