Skip to main content

Do Your Part. Be Cyber Smart.

John Carroll University is once again participating in the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month program run by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to create awareness about Cybersecurity. This year’s awareness theme is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” Each week in October, we will provide information and tips from leading cybersecurity organizations on protecting yourself online. Our goal is to help you make the most of today’s technology…safely and securely.

National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) Events

Weekly Content


Every individual should own their role in protecting their information and securing their systems and devices. There are many steps individuals can take to enhance their cybersecurity without requiring a significant investment or the help of an information security professional. Below, NCSA highlights eight tips you can put into action now:


  • MAKE A LONG, UNIQUE PASSPHRASE Length trumps complexity. A strong passphrase is a sentence that is at least 15 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember.
  • PASSPHRASES AREN'T ENOUGH Use 2-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication (like biometrics, security keys, or a unique, one-time code through an app on your mobile device) whenever offered.
  • WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT Links in email, tweets, texts, posts, social media messages and online advertising are the easiest way for cybercriminals to get your sensitive information. Be wary of clicking on links or downloading anything that comes from a stranger or that you were not expecting. Essentially, just don’t trust links.
  • KEEP A CLEAN MACHINE Keep all software on internet-connected devices – including personal computers, smartphones, and tablets – current to reduce risk of infection from ransomware and malware. Configure your devices to automatically update or to notify you when an update is available.
  • BACK IT UP Protect your valuable work, music, photos and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely. If you have a copy of your data and your device falls victim to ransomware or other cyber threats, you will be able to restore the data from a backup. Use the 3-2- 1 rule as a guide to backing up your data. The rule is: keep at least three (3) copies of your data, and store two (2) backup copies on different storage media, with one (1) of them located offsite.
  • OWN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE Every time you sign up for a new account, download a new app, or get a new device, immediately configure the privacy and security settings to your comfort level for information sharing. Regularly check these settings (at least once a year) to make sure they are still configured to your comfort.
  • SHARE WITH CARE Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it and how it might affect you or others. Consider creating an alternate persona that you use for online profiles to limit how much of your own personal information you share.
  • GET SAVVY ABOUT WIFI HOTSPOTS Public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure, which means that anyone could potentially see what you are doing on your laptop or smartphone while you are connected to them. Limit what you do on public WiFi, and avoid logging in to key accounts like email and financial services. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot if you need a more secure connection.

The cybersecurity awareness training is designed to provide you with:

  • A better understanding of information risks
  • Tips for developing departmental procedures that effectively protect information
  • Services that the IT Team can provide to help
  • Things to do to protect computers and mobile devices both at work and at home

Click here to register =>

Audience: Students, Faculty & Staff

Date: October 13th, 2021 from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Place: Dolan Science Center Donahue Auditorium (A111)

Internet-connected devices are helping homeowners increase efficiency, reduce costs, conserve energy and a whole host of other benefits. However, with all of these benefits come risks to privacy and security. NCSA recommends consumers connect with caution, and take steps to secure these devices.


  • DO YOUR HOMEWORK Before purchasing a new smart device, do your research. Check out user reviews on the product, look it up to see if there have been any security/privacy concerns, and understand what security features the device has, or doesn’t have.
  • CHANGE DEFAULT USERNAMES AND PASSWORDS Many IoT devices come with default passwords. Create long and unique passphrases for all accounts and use multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible. MFA will fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics or a unique one-time code sent to your phone or mobile device.
  • PUT YOUR IOT DEVICES ON A GUEST NETWORK Why? Because if a smart device’s security is compromised, it won’t grant an attacker access to your primary devices, such as laptops.
  • CONFIGURE YOUR PRIVACY AND SECURITY SETTINGS The moment you turn on a new “smart” device, configure its privacy and security settings. Most devices default to the least secure settings--so take a moment to configure those settings to your comfort level.
  • DISABLE FEATURES YOU MAY NOT NEED IoT devices often come with features you will never need or use. If you can, disable those features to protect your security and privacy.
  • KEEP SOFTWARE UP TO DATE When the manufacturer issues a software update, patch it immediately. Updates include important changes that improve the performance and security of your devices.
  • THINK OF WHERE YOU PUT THEM Particularly for listening devices or ones with cameras, think strategically about where you place them in your home. Do you want them in a child’s room or where you have sensitive work or family discussions? Designation some of the areas of your home as “safe” rooms from IoT devices.