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It’s the beginning of a new academic year, and as we all settle in at our desks and turn on our computers on to get logged in, it’s time ask ourselves:

  • “Do I know how to protect myself and the company’s assets and data?”
  • “Do I remember to pause and evaluate emails before opening attachments or clicking embedded links?”
  • “What about the sticky note on my laptop with the Carthage password?”

Malicious actors are already knocking on the virtual doors at Carthage, and we’ve seen a continued increase in the last few years of more phishing attempts and cyber-attack attempts than ever before.

Best practices

We have very strong perimeter and interior systems in place to identify and ward off these attacks, but there are still things that each of us as individuals also need to do.

If you receive a suspicious email, phone call, or even text message related to Carthage and you’re not sure if it’s safe, please verify its authenticity or notify Library and Information Services before opening any attachments or clicking on any embedded links; we will never question anyone for being too cautious. The fact is, customized phishing attempts do make their way through the most sophisticated email security gateways, so try your best not to become complacent.

Another important reminder for everyone is to log out and shut down your computers regularly. While it’s nice to have everything already open when you get in, in the morning, staying logged in to production applications and Carthage sites leaves us vulnerable and puts us in a far worse position if we were to be compromised. You’ll also find that your computers and devices run more smoothly if you shut down and reboot it regularly.

Lastly, if there are updates available for your web browsers, please go ahead and take them. Stable versions are typically released every few weeks, but recently there have been constant security updates to patch against known vulnerabilities that are already being exploited. In Chrome (the most commonly used web browser), you can tell when it has an update because an update icon that appears at the top right will turn green, yellow, or red if you don’t restart Chrome and take the update, signifying that your instance is out of date.

Thank you for taking these actions, and please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Sponsoring Department, Office, or Organization:

Library and Information Services

For more information, contact:

help@carthage.edu