You’ve read the headlines. Organizations big and small, including even large retailers and mega companies, are not immune to data breaches and hackers’ increasingly sophisticated schemes.

But you can protect yourself — and the university — from becoming victims by staying vigilant.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and a good opportunity to remind ourselves that information and systems we use to carry out UC’s mission of teaching, research and public service must be safeguarded. Technological protections alone are not always enough. Keeping that information secure is a shared responsibility, and everyone at UC has an obligation to protect it.

To keep your information and the university’s safe, incorporate good cybersecurity habits into your daily routine.

Sometimes, though, you can do everything right and still fall victim. For example, numerous data breaches at well-known companies have affected millions due to no fault of the people impacted. In addition, natural disasters are often followed by a wave of scams, such as phony donation websites.

Practice these three tips to protect yourself from the unexpected:

  1. Review your bank and credit card statements monthly. This is often the first place you will see signs of identity theft. If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, see the identity theft resources here for help.
  2. Back up your critical files — at home and at work. Store backups in a physically separate location from the originals, and test them periodically.
  3. Always think twice before clicking on links or opening attachments. This is the best way to protect yourself from scammers. Whenever possible, go to web pages by a path you know is legitimate instead of clicking on a link in a message. And if an attachment is unexpected, contact the sender by a method you know is legitimate to confirm he or she sent it.

Additional cybersecurity awareness information and resources are available on UC’s Information Security Awareness website:

Information about the National Cyber Security Awareness Month campaign is available at