Personal Information Security

As more and more information about us moves into "the cloud," it has become critical that we take steps to protect our personal information.  Below are some recommendations that may improve protection of your own personal information and contribute to the protection of University data:

Social Networking

THINK before you sign up for online groups. They often solicit personal information in order for you to join. Once you provide that information, you have NO CONTROL over how it's used. NEVER provide your University credentials (password, UUID, etc.) to any social network, company, or even your best friend.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is the art of human manipulation. It encompasses everything below with the express purpose of getting a person to act a certain way.


Phishing is the potentially fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by pretending to be trustworthy in some type of communication. The University will never request personal information (i.e., your SSN, UUID and password, birth date, or any account numbers) via email. Other institutions, such as your bank, credit card company, or loan officers, would not email you requesting this type of information, either.

E-mail Scams

Email Scams are unsolicited emails that claim the prospect of a bargain or something for nothing. Some spam messages ask for business, others invite victims to a website with a detailed sales pitch. Once the email is opened, malware of various sorts may be triggered. While our spam filters catch most of these emails, be alert and delete any suspicious emails without opening them. Use caution in replying to any unsolicited email.

Phone Scams

Unsuspecting phone customers receive voicemail messages with call back numbers with international area codes (examples: Area Codes 809, 876, and 284). When calls are made to those numbers, callers are kept on the line with pitches that result in hefty charges. Because these are legitimate area codes, they cannot be blocked. So be alert to these scams, and call back ONLY when you know that the call is authentic.

Portable and Hand-Held Devices

Remember that PDAs, notebooks, iPads, smart phones, etc. are also vulnerable to security breaches. Be cautious about what information you store on your mobile devices, so that you are less vulnerable if a device is lost or stolen. Always use a lock screen on your device. Make sure to change the default PIN or password on it. Just because you have a bio-metric scanner on it (fingerprint), doesn't mean that someone else can't unlock it unless you change the default.