IT encourages students, faculty to protect personal devices

During Cyber-Security Awareness Month, Marshall Information Technology faculty provides tips and resources in October for students and faculty to create a safe online environment.  

According to the Cyber-security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), cyber-security awareness continues to encourage individuals and organizations to be responsible for their role, primarily personal accountability and taking proactive steps to enhance security for the past 17 years, since the awareness month started.  

“Cyber-security is everyone’s responsibility,” Marshall IT client engagement manager, Crystal Stewart said. “Especially at an institution like Marshall, it is important that we keep our information, student or employee data, safe and secure so the ‘bad guys’ can’t use it against us.” 

Will Skaggs, Marshall IT consultant, said students on campus will often dismiss the possible results of their Marshall account being hacked. He said this information allows the hacker to have access to Social Security number (SSN) and other personal information through tax forms that could eventually lead to accessing a bank account. 

“Protecting your information online is important because there are always people out there trying to steal and use it maliciously in some way,” Skaggs said.  

Frequent password changes are one of the first recommendations by IT and security professionals to maintain security.  

“You have to always be cautious. The short-term goal is to have a secure password, your long-term goal is a plan to change that password. I try to change my password every year,” Stewart said. “Just because you think you have secure internet; you still need to be aware of what websites you are on and even people asking for specific information.” 

In terms of complex passwords, Skaggs said the recommended password may be difficult to remember, but a password should consist of a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and special characters. He said your social media accounts should not have the same password as your bank account. 

Marshall’s Information Technology team will be posting cyber-security tips on their social media pages throughout the awareness month.  

Xena Bunton can be contacted at [email protected]