Campus & Community / News

UTS offers tips for Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and University Technology Services’ Information Security Department is teaching the campus community to stay safe online.

“Keeping the DU network and computing resources safe is not accomplished solely by the work of any single department, but rather it is the result of a collective effort on the part of everyone using these resources,” says Arlen Fletcher, DU’s chief information security officer. “Helping end-users become more knowledgeable about current cyber threats results in a safer computing and network environment for all of us.”

The eighth annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a national campaign sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

To support the initiative, the department is featuring weekly tips on security issues including peer-to-peer file sharing software, password protection across multiple platforms and phishing scams.

The department will give away informational bookmarks, pencils, tumblers, candy and paperweights on the Driscoll Bridge on Oct. 31.

“We recognize the value that an informed user community provides in maintaining a secure computer-network environment,” Fletcher says. “All of us have important electronic information that we don’t want to lose; by working together, we make the DU network safer for all of us.”

Here are a few cybersecurity tips from

Email and Internet safety tips:
● Be wary of downloadable files on websites.
● If your computer has suddenly become slower, it may be compromised by malware or spyware.
● Verify that an email is legitimate before opening an unexpected email attachment.
● Be wary of pop-up windows and advertisements for free downloadable antivirus software — they may be disguising spyware.
● Pay attention to the URL of a website. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., “.com” vs. “.net”).
● Be wary of unexpected dialog boxes asking whether you want to run a program or perform another type of task. Always select “no” or “cancel,” or close the dialog box by clicking the “X” icon in the titlebar.
● Be suspicious of URLs sent in unsolicited email or text messages. While the links may appear to be legitimate, they may actually direct you to a malicious website.
● Do business with credible companies.

Copyright and peer-to-peer sharing tips:
● Under U.S. law, distribution of copyrighted materials is an offense, with those found guilty facing the possibility of up to five years in jail and fines of up to $150,000 per file as well as other civil damages which may be sought by the copyright holder.
● Explore alternative websites and software programs that allow you to enjoy music legally. For example, Pandora is a website that offers personalized Internet radio for free.
● Choose a negative consequence of illegal downloading and remind yourself of this consequence regularly.
● If you are downloading [music] for free or uploading it for distribution outside of a legally recognized outlet, you are in breach of copyright law.
● The introduction of iTunes gives the opportunity for consumers to download music legally and for a minimal price.
● Every week, iTunes gives away free music through its online store.
● The music industry loses about $4.2 billion worldwide every year for pirated music and often prosecutes offenders.
● Downloading illegal music is much like shoplifting a CD and could carry heavy consequences.
● While most teens don’t know the laws surrounding illegally downloading music, that isn’t enough of a defense if caught with illegal music on your computer.
● Downloading from file sharing programs opens your computer up to viruses and security breaches by unwanted websites, adware and spyware.
● Services like Netflix, Amazon and Apple offer legal ways to watch movies for a fee. Netflix offers an unlimited number of streaming movies for a flat monthly fee. Amazon and Apple rent and sell movies in both standard definition and high definition.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *