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Get a Digital Security Reality Check

Small image of Reality Check poster showing two girls looking at thier smartphones with people dancing in the background. Text: Your best friend liked the pictures from that wild party. Your boss didn’t. Reality Check.Think software updates aren't worth the time? Or that all phishing scams are easy to spot? Think again. Security compromises happen every day, and can happen to anyone—including you.

Get a reality check about your digital security and personal information; learn how to protect yourself when it comes to mobile devices, secure passwords, phishing scams, and more with help from Northwestern IT and a host of security resources that are right at your fingertips.

Want one of these eye-catching flyers for your res hall, office, or lab? Simply download, print, and post.

MYTH: Setting Football! as my password is safe and easy to remember.

Reality Check.

Easy-to-guess passwords can compromise your security. Follow these guidelines on creating long, strong passwords, and remember to change your password immediately if you ever feel that your information has been compromised.

MYTH: Your best friend liked the pictures from that wild party. Your boss didn't.

Reality Check.

Your friends aren't the only ones who can see your profile. Avoid an embarrassing conversation by keeping your private information private.

MYTH: Unlocking my phone just takes too long.

Reality Check.

A number or pattern lock can make the difference between a lost phone and a lost phone plus hijacked e-mail, calendar, bank, Facebook, and other personal accounts. Setting a number lock or PIN is also required for faculty or staff who want to use their Collaboration Services account on their mobile device.

MYTH: Updating my computer as often as I update my wardrobe saves me time.

Reality Check.

Software updates improve a program’s security and performance, and take hardly any effort at all to install. Some updates (including operating system and antivirus updates) can even be automated.

MYTH: The link in this e-mail goes to my bank, links don't lie.

Reality Check.

Phishing scams often use trustworthy names and fake links to trick you into clicking and sharing your personal information, or to install malware on your computer. Learn how to spot and avoid these scams and view recent phishing attempts that have been reported to Northwestern IT.

MYTH: Sharing files on P2P networks is totally free!

Reality Check.

Copyright infringement fines can cost upwards of $150,000 for uploading or downloading files. Use legal methods of watching movies, listening to music, or using software. And pay attention if you receive a notification from NU-BAYU (Be Aware You're Uploading)--you may be sharing files without realizing it.

Last Updated: 10 August 2018

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