Don’t be a victim of cyber crime

As online scams get more sophisticated and harder to spot, it's important to take precautions to keep yourself secure online. Follow these tips from CiCS and keep your money and your data safe from cyber crime. 

Secure your password

Creating a strong and secure password is great, and provides a good building block for protecting yourself, but it is only half the battle. Your password may still be at risk if you reuse your password for multiple services.

We recommend you use a password manager, which allows you to keep track of all of your different passwords, without being tempted to reuse the same password across different sites or services. Find out more here.

Think before you click

Think twice before clicking links, or downloading attachments in emails - even if they appear to be from a trusted source. Cyber Criminals have been known to send emails, appearing to be from an existing contact, containing malware infected Word attachments. As a general rule, if you are not expecting the link or attachment, verify it with the sender (by phone, in person or by creating a new email) before clicking it.

Be aware of the apps you download

Be wary when downloading and installing games and apps. Just because something is available in a respected App Store does not mean it can’t pose a risk. There has been an increase in apps that can upload malware, exploit vulnerabilities in mobile operating systems, or most commonly gain access to the information stored on your mobile. Before you download a new app you should make sure you have double checked the permissions that it is asking for. If the the permissions seem excessive and they want access to too much information, don’t press download.

Don’t give out your details

Students are a prime target for cyber criminals who claim to be from banks or even University finance and convince them to hand over personal information and account details.

These cyber criminals will often try and catch people out with clever social engineering tactics, such as saying that you must provide your details urgently or risk losing your money. But it is important to always slow down and take a step back if you receive an email or text asking for any personal information. You should be suspicious of any unexpected email, even if it appears to be from a legitimate source. If you are unsure, do a quick Google search and find the companies real phone number or email address online. You can then contact them to verify the email before sending any information.

If in doubt, talk to us

If something doesn’t seem quite right, you just have a question about cyber security or you need to report a cyber crime, talk to CiCS. You can call us on 0114 2221111, email helpdesk@sheffield.ac.uk or talk to us in person at our drop-in desk on Level 1 of the Information Commons.