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National Cyber Security Awareness Month. 2017: Home

National Cyber Security Awareness Month: Educational Materials and Contest

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month!  
The Institute for Cyber Security, IUP IT Support Center, IUP Center for Teaching Excellence, and the IUP Libraries, will be joining together to provide weekly tips and educational activities for all end users.  This initiative is an effort to ensure that every individual has the resources needed to stay safe online.

Enter the Contest
Watch the informative videos linked below, take the quiz, and you will be entered to win prizes!  Each time you take the quiz your name will be entered to the raffle to win. Enter until October 31, 2017. 

Prizes include  gift certificates to the Co-op Bookstore. Each time you take the quiz your name will be entered into the raffle for the prizes. You can only take each weekly quiz once. Each entrant can only win one prize given out in association with this awareness effort. 


Introduction. National Cyber Secuirty Month is Here. Week One.

Passwords. National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Week Two.

One of the easiest ways to practice Cyber Security is to make sure you have a strong password, and that you never share it with anyone!  Just this year, the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) has updated their view on secure passwords.  The days of passwords containing a uppercase and lowercase characters, a number, and a special character are over.  It was determined by the NIST the hardest passwords to crack consist of four random words.  Below are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Strong passwords are at least 15 characters long.
  •  Make certain your four random words are completely unrelated (an example of this would be ‘correcthorsebatterystaple’.
  • Make certain to have a separate password for every account.
  • Never reuse a previous password, or make your new password a variation of your previous one.    
  • Never share your password, never write it down, and NEVER send it in an email.  The IT Support Center will never ask you to send a password via email.

Phishing. National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Week Three.

Phishing is the malicious attempt to obtain personal information such as usernames, passwords, bank account, credit card numbers, etc.  Users easily fall victim to these attacks by being tricked into opening attachments or clicking on links in email messages.  Please take a minute to watch today’s video regarding phishing,  After watching the video, take a moment to take the Cyber Security quiz and be entered to win a prize!

Tips for avoiding phishing scams:

  • Never click on links from users and e-mail addresses with which you are unfamiliar.
  • Never give out usernames, passwords, or other sensitive information via telephone or e-mail.  (The IT Support Center will NEVER ask for your password via the phone or email).
  • Second phishing emails as an attachment to so they can be blocked.
  • It is important to be alert for these scams when using your IUP email.  Remember, your IUP email account is an official means of communications.

Social Media. National Cyber Security Month. Week Four.

Social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, provide terrific ways to communicate with friends and family and to network professionally. However, careful consideration should be used when sharing information online. What you share can be damaging to your reputation, prevent you from getting a job, and result in identity theft.  Please take a moment to watch this week’s video about phishing on https:\\\itsupportcenter\cyber-security.After watching the video, take a moment to take the Cyber Security quiz and be entered to win a prize!

When social networking, keep the following in mind to stay safe:

  • Once posted, always posted.Think twice before posting things that you wouldn’t want your family, or future employers to see.
  • Keep personal information personal. The more information you post on social networks, the easier you make it for hackers to steal your identity, guess your passwords, and access your data.
  • Privacy and security settings are important! These controls are available to help you control who see what you post and share.
  • Take action against harassment. Report bullying, threats, harassment, and stalking to site administrators or to the appropriate authorities.
  • Never send personal information via email (such as username and password, SSN, Credit Card numbers, Bank account numbers).
  • Never store personal information in unsecure locations (websites, thumb drives, social media).

Malware. National Cyber Security Month. Week Five.

Malicious software or malware can harm your computer, and in some cases, puts your personal information at risk. The ins and outs of malware can get technical. Please take a minute to watch this week’s video regarding,  After watching the video, take a moment to take the Cyber Security quiz and be entered to win a prize!

To keep your computer running efficiently and to protect your personal information:

  • Keep your computer software up to date and use a virus protection product, such as Sophos.
  • Do not open suspicious e-mail messages, links, or Web pages. If you are unsure, verify the source. 
  • Don't forget to protect devices, such as cell phones and game consoles.
  • Scan external devices, such as USBs, if you are using them across multiple computers.

All IUP faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to take advantage of the university’s site license for Sophos and MalwareBytes. They can be downloaded and installed on personal machines, free of charge from the IT Support Center Available Software page,

Cyber Security/Information Assurance Day. October 26, 2017

IUP is proud to be a 'champion' as designated by the National Cyber Security Alliance.  The university conducts a number of educational and awareness activities throughout October, which is designated as National Cyber Security Month.  The capstone event this year is Cyber Security/Information Assurance Day on Oct. 26.  More details can be found at

Cyber Security Awareness Educational Materials

Privacy, Identity, and Online Security. Consumer Information. Federal Trade Commission 

OnGuard Online.Tips to Help You feel Safe and Secure Online. Check out the Federal Trade Commission's free online security tips and resources, and share with your friends, family, coworkers, and community.