Skip to main content

Information Security at Northwestern: Secure IT

Information security. Without the jargon or technical terms, information security at Northwestern simply means three things:

Whether you’re a student, a faculty memberstaffresearcheralumni, or emeritus, you rely on Northwestern for the services and tools you use all day, every day. Northwestern IT helps you stay safe by offering essential tools, resources, and support, but your security can only be achieved with your active involvement. You are the key to information security.

Whatever the role, Northwestern is our home. By protecting yourself, you protect your department, your school, your Northwestern.

Click the image to download a PDF of the poster. Posters are best printed in color on 11x17 paper or you can contact the Northwestern IT Support Center to request posters for your area.

PDF Poster. Beware what you share. PDF Poster. Keep your password secret and safe. PDF Poster. Spot the scam. PDF Poster. Keep your password secret.

Students

Keep it secret, keep it safe.

Your NetID password protects your personal information at the University including your tuition and financial aid plus grades, paychecks, and banking information. Don’t share your password with anyone, including family, friends, roommates, or instructors.

Beware what you share.

How easy is it for someone to find out your birthdate, your mother’s maiden name, where you were born, the name of your grammar school, the model of your first car? These are all common security questions, and more than half of social network users have shared the answers. Choose security questions with hard-to-guess answers, or use answers that don't match the question.

Lock it or lose it.

A secure number lock on your tablet or smartphone (not 1234!) means all the difference between a stolen device and a stolen device plus passwords, email, credit card numbers, bank information, contacts, etc. Take the time to set one up!

Faculty

Keep it secret, keep it safe.

Your NetID password protects your personal information at the University including your paycheck and banking information plus your students' grades and their personal information. Make sure your password is long and strong, and don’t share it with anyone, including coworkers, TAs, family, friends, or colleagues.

Spot the scam.

When it comes to your research, vigilance about protecting your passwords and accounts from scammers is especially important. If your account is hacked, it could mean stolen data or a compromised study—it doesn’t need to be said how devastating that could be. Learn the key identifiers of an email scam and report questionable emails to security@northwestern.edu.

Travel safe.

Trips to the other side of the city or the other side of the world for research or other business are rife with risks to your devices and the information they contain. Check out these recommended practices you can follow to be safe on the road.

Staff

Secure your working environment.

A constant stream of sensitive information crosses your desk and your computer every day. Student records, purchases with PO or credit cards, contracts, loan applications, your University email account, department accounts, information about your staff, health records—just to list a potential few! This information all deserves to be protected. Find out how to keep it safe by following the computer security checklist and securing your working environment.

Keep it secret, keep it safe.

Your NetID password protects your personal information at the University including your paycheck, banking information, home address, and so much more. Make sure your password is long and strong, and don’t share it with anyone, even coworkers, managers, family, or friends.

Researchers

Spot the scam.

When it comes to your research, vigilance about protecting your passwords and accounts from scammers is especially important. If your account is hacked, it could mean stolen data or a compromised study—it doesn’t need to be said how devastating that could be. Learn the key identifiers of an email scam and report questionable emails to security@northwestern.edu.

Using encryption tools like the one Northwestern IT offers add an extra layer of protection for your research. Review the data encryption policy to see if your information fits the criteria.

Alumni

Beware what you share.

Security settings on social media service change frequently. Regularly check your settings to make sure you're only sharing the right information with the right people.

Social media can affect your job security.

Finding a job can be challenging enough, don't let what you share affect your chances at finding or keeping a position. More than 30 percent of employers reject applicants based on Facebook posts, according to a survey of 2,300 hiring managers released by CareerBuilder.com. McAfee found that 20 percent of 18 to 24 year olds were fired or knew someone who was fired because of personal images or messages posted online.

Emeritus

Spot the scam.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a legitimate email and a fake. Responding to a scam email can mean a stolen credit card number or a stolen Social Security Number—it could even mean a computer infected with a virus. Before you click on a link in an email or respond to a message with your personal information, take a look at key identifiers of an email scam and report questionable emails to security@northwestern.edu.

Last Updated: 8 November 2017

Get Help Back to top