Category Archives: Cyber Security

Protecting ourselves from cyber threats

At UC, we want to help each member of our community to be safer online. In the wake of the recent cyber-attack on Waikato Hospital, we’re urging all UC staff and students to be vigilant with cyber security.

Cybercrime will impact every organisation and individual at some time, and it can take many different forms. Just like in the physical world, there are things we can do to protect ourselves. Through knowledge sharing and action, we can reduce the chances of you being a victim of cybercrime and minimise its impact, should it happen.

Cyber threats are real and can happen to you

It’s not a case of ‘it will never happen to me’. It can. Hackers and cyber-criminals can do amazing things, and access to your device or personal credentials can take a massive toll on your personal and professional life. Please don’t wait until it’s too late. Read more>

Phishing scams – how to spot them and what to do:

Phishing (pronounced ‘fishing’) is a technique used by hackers and other cyber-criminals to trick people into giving over personal details or taking action, often over email.

A phishing scam might ask you to click on a link, get you to open an attachment, download a file or even pay an invoice or bill. These cyber-criminals spend a lot of time setting up lures and scams, making them look convincing and legitimate.

Most modern email providers – like UC’s own email system, Gmail, Office365, Outlook and Yahoo have filters to stop phishing and spam email from getting through, but some still do, and the best protection is awareness.

Only open emails you’re expecting from people you know, and make sure you treat suspicious email appropriately. If you do receive a suspicious email, use the following advice:

Click here for more on Cyber Security Awareness at UC>

For further information contact the IT Service Desk on:

Cyber Security: spotting odd behaviour

If something seems odd, it probably is odd

Things to look for when using computers and other devices:

  • Is your device performing slower than normal?
  • Does your device seem to be going through battery faster?
  • Are you getting random pop-ups?
  • Is your device crashing more often?
  • Changes to your internet home page browser
  • New toolbars on your internet browser
  • Higher than normal data usage
  • Unusual messages or programmes that start by themselves
  • Is your security software disabled?
  • New or unfamiliar icons or apps
  • Storage space is unexpectedly running low

Be vigilant

Keep an eye out for odd behaviour around computers and devices. This could include:

  • People using log in details that aren’t their own.
  • ‘Tailgating’, when a person tags along with another person who is authorized to gain entry into a restricted area
  • Someone inserting USB devices in equipment so it is hidden.
  • Copying data from a controlled source onto portable storage, i.e. USB storage device
  • People watching others closely, possibly recording, when logging into a system.
  • If you are contacted by “IT Support” – remember, you will never be asked for your password by any UC support teams or other organisations.

Report it 

If you think a device you use at UC is compromised, or you’ve spotted strange behaviour on campus, you can report it in the following ways:

  • Ring the IT Service Desk on 0508 UC IT HELP (0508 824 843) or
    03 369 5000
  • Visit the IT Service Desk on the ground floor of Matariki
  • Log a ticket on the IT Self Service portal 

For more tips and info on Cyber Security, take a look here> 

Cyber Security: the strength of passwords

We want to help the UC community stay safe online, so we’re sharing some tips and tricks on how you can create strong passwords to keep your personal info secure: 

How to create robust passwords

  • Passwords should be 10-16 characters long 
  • Don’t use common dictionary words, such as orange, car, password
  • Don’t use sequential letters or numbers i.e. 12345, abcde
  • Don’t use repeated letters or numbers or keyboard patterns i.e. 111, aaa, qwerty, asdfg

Use different passwords

Using the same password for everything can seem like a good idea, but security breaches are happening more often. Using the same password means hackers only need to steal the password from one place to have access to all of your personal info. Take a moment to think about how secure your passwords are.

Password managers

A password manager will help you store and retrieve complex passwords from a personal encrypted database.

With the help of a password manager you only need to remember three passwords:

  1. One for banking
  2. One for work
  3. One for the personal password manager

A password manager is like a locked safe that holds your different passwords to different sites and accounts, and applies the correct password to the correct site. Good ones are encrypted to keep your account data safe. A master password is used to access your password manager, so use the tips and rules above to create a master password. A long odd sentence with no spaces is a good solution. For example Thislittlepiggywenttomarket.

Some password managers incorporate two factor authentication which will keep your master password even more secure. Two factor authentication is a process that involves entering your password as well as another action such as answering a security question or entering a code that is sent to a preregistered device like your phone.

Recommended password managers

Use a password manager with a good reputation – try one of these recommended by UC IT:

For more tips and info on Cyber Security, take a look here>