There are three major things students need to be aware of when it comes to Internet safety: secure passwords, smart security answers and trustworthy links.
These tips emphasize the slogan, “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.,” which TCU’s Information Security Services department is using in order to promote Cyber Security Awareness Month.
To practice Internet safety, students need to make passwords long and secure and create security answers that are not guessable, said Lenelda Pennington, information security engineer. Students should also check the validity of links before clicking and connecting to them.
The Information Security Services department directly deals with cyber security for TCU. The department is bringing cyber security awareness to campus by posting information and tips about Internet safety on posters, yard signs and TCU Announce emails, Pennington said.
Society depends on the Internet, she said, and people need to monitor themselves to ensure safety on the Web.
She said phishing is the major issue the Information Security Services department deals with.
Pennington said clicking on links through emails and social media is the most dangerous outlet because students can become victims of phishing when they venture into unsafe cyber activity.
TCU helps prevent phishing through the campus server by using an appliance that monitors incoming mail, she said.
She said 2.1 million pieces of mail came through the server Sept. 3, and the appliance blocked 89 percent of that mail for reasons such as the mail being sent to invalid recipients, mail being recognized as spam or mail being suspected of phishing.
TCU’s network is pretty secure, she said. The Information Security Services department constantly updates TCU computers’ software and installs antivirus programs and firewalls to help avoid any cyber vulnerability, Pennington said.
Rachel Russell, a junior political science major, said she also thinks the univeristy’s Internet is safe.
“I feel like I’m pretty secure based on the fact that it’s TCU’s Internet,” she said.
Russell already follows some of the tips the Information Security Services department suggests.
“I always try to choose really hard security questions, even though my passwords aren’t the hardest,” she said.
She also said she avoids clicking on random links often, but when she does, she will check the validity of those links before connecting.
Anthony Nicome, a junior biology major, said he also feels secure on the Internet.
“If the campus is safe, I feel that the Internet is safe,” he said.
He said he mainly uses the Internet to complete homework assignments so he does not feel that Internet security is a big problem.
Although Nicome is not an avid Internet surfer, he said that he will follow the advice the Information Security Services department provides in order to help keep the campus safe.
Pennington said throughout this month, the Information Security Services department wants to encourage awareness on TCU’s campus to help students avoid unsafe Internet activity.
Pennington said students should stop multitasking and take more time to evaluate the credibility of certain emails and links seem before they connect.
For more tips on how to be safer while on the Web check out TCU’s Information Security Services webpage.