Secure your personal and University data and be safe online

This message was sent to all UW students, faculty and staff with approval from the Vice President for UW Information Technology and CIO.

As part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we are offering some tips and best practices for safeguarding your personal and University data. We also want to remind you that cybersecurity is our shared responsibility and University information technology resources should be used appropriately.

Be aware of scams and phishing


Learn to recognize phishing emails:

  • These types of emails typically urge recipients to download malicious attachments or click on links that lead to web pages specifically crafted to steal login credentials, such as your UW NetID and password.
    Phishing emails may appear to be from someone you know but are actually from a spoofed or compromised account.
  • They may deliver exploits such as ransomware, a malicious software that locks files, folders and devices. It also makes data, computers and systems inaccessible until a sum of money is paid to cyberthieves.
  • Think before you click on links in email and only open attachments if you can verify the sender.

Email scams

Beware of email scams:

  • The sender may try to solicit money, financial and personal information or ask you to purchase gift cards.
  • If an email offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be skeptical even if you think you recognize the sender.

Report suspicious email

Report phishing and other email scams to help (no spaces).

Be secure

  • Choose encryption. Use a virtual private network (VPN), such as Husky OnNet, to securely connect to University computers and networks from home and remote locations. Use eduroam, a free, encrypted service, for Wi-Fi while on campus.
    • For more information about Husky OnNet and eduroam, search for these using the search bar on the UW’s main website.
  • Use strong passwords. Create strong passwords and don’t use your UW NetID password for other accounts.
  • Back up your data. Back up your files and systems in at least two different secure forms, such as on an external hard drive, so that you aren’t vulnerable to data loss from ransomware. Be sure that at least one backup is offline and not connected to your computer.

Learn more

  • Reporting spam and phishing. Further instructions can be found on the IT Connect website.
  • Safeguarding UW and personal information. More information about safeguarding UW and personal information, including best practices for passwords and keeping backups for data, devices and systems, can be found on the Office of the Chief Information Security Officer’s (CISO) website.
  • Appropriate use of computing and networking resources. Some of the laws and policies governing the use of UW computing and networking resources and information on respecting copyright can be found on the Appropriate Use web page on IT Connect.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact help (no spaces).

Links were intentionally left out of this message.