University Reminds Students to Prioritize Cybersecurity

Colin Hanke ® Staff Writer |

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and Minnesota State University, Mankato is ensuring that cybersecurity is a priority for students and faculty. 

Taking active measures to ensure computer devices are secure can minimize risks of viruses, malware, theft, and fraud. 

Michael Menne, MNSU’s chief information security officer, is hosting a free webinar from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Oct. 28. The webinar will feature social media safety and other cyberthreats such as identity theft. The event will feature live experts and guests. Students can enter for a chance to win a free fingerprint lock with a retail value of $49.99.  

Through the entire month of October, security tips and videos will be provided on the MNSU website and through their Facebook, Twitter and MavLife accounts for students to access. 

On Oct. 19 there will be a video on passwords. On Oct. 26 there will be a video on general device protection.  

According to IT Solutions at MNSU, some of the most important cybersecurity tips are keeping technological devices up to date on software. Old software and old apps on devices essentially open the doors to cyberthreats. 

Another tip is to be aware of suspicious emails, messages and phone calls that aim to steal your information. It is a good idea to verify the senders and not to open any sort of links that are perceived to be suspicious. 

Also, anyone who asks you for personal or financial information over the phone is usually a scam. Another tip from IT Solutions is to never share passwords with others. Passwords should also be complex, and the same password should not be used for every platform that prompts a password.

“I think that cybersecurity is important, and especially as a future teacher because a lot of people are unaware of how you can leak your information to hackers,” said Amanda Gunderson, elementary education major and third-year student at MNSU.    

Third-year pre-med student Ornella Malm agreed.

“With the transition to a lot of online learning this semester, I am grateful that our IT department is taking cybersecurity seriously,” she said.  

IT Solutions also encourages students to keep devices in close proximity on campus. Leaving devices in the open with personal information up can be harmful. Also, it is encouraged to double check old devices that are no longer being used to make sure old information is not being stored on them. 

Students who have university devices they no longer use should contact IT Solutions so the information on that device can be disposed of before the device gets passed onto the next user.

Header photo from AP.

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