Protect yourself from cyber attacks this holiday season

Cyber criminals typically increase their efforts in December and January, so now is a time to use vigilance when checking your email or browsing online.

Sue Workman, chief information officer and vice president of Information Technology Services, and Tom Siu, chief information security officer, provided the following simple tips to help members of the campus community remain safe and secure at this time of the year.

First, pay special attention to emails you receive about holiday shopping. Often, attackers try to mimic communications from retailers in hopes of capturing your personal information. Are you expecting that package from FedEx? Did you order those shoes from Amazon? Think before you click on emails—even if they look legitimate.

Second, ITS has published a new website at to keep the university community apprised of fraudulent emails that are distributed across campus, an act commonly known as “phishing.” Through this website, the information security team will post examples of phishing attacks seen on campus as soon as they see them. The site also features suggestions of ways to avoid falling victim to phishing attacks as well as common characteristics of these fake messages.

If you find yourself questioning the legitimacy of any email, contact the ITS Service Desk at or 216.368.HELP (4357) for assistance.