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IT Service Status
IT Service Status

Report An Information Security Incident

Information security incidents are events that give someone access to sensitive information (personally identifiable details, passwords, academic, health, or financial records) without permission.

If you suspect a security incident has occurred

Immediately contact your school or department, local technical support staff or the Northwestern IT Service Desk
  • Call the Northwestern IT Service Desk at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP)
  • Email Northwestern IT Information Security Office at 

Any incidents involving online harassment or physical theft of a device should be reported to University Police.

Examples of Security Incidents

  • Someone accessed your account in CAESAR and changed your class schedule or loan information.
  • You replied to an unsolicited email that asked for your NetID, password, or other personal information and then suspected it could be a scam. (See Reporting a Phishing Email section on this page.)
  • A file containing Social Security numbers was accidentally sent to the wrong recipient. 
  • A laptop containing unencrypted sensitive research data was lost.

Reporting a Phishing Email

To fully investigate your issue, please forward the entire email message you received, which includes both the body of the message and the full email header, to Please follow these instructions to view the full header in the Knowledge Base.

Before reporting the suspicious email, please review the list of recent phishing messages reported at Northwestern to see if your issue is already a known issue. You may also wish to review best practices to protect yourself from these scams.

Remember, these are only a few examples of information security incidents. If you feel threatened, in danger, or if a crime was committed, immediately contact University Police.