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Keep Security Your Top Priority

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.

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Keep your digital security and personal information secure; 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.


Get a refresher on how to identify a phishing email. See a list of the most recent phishing scams received at the University. Scam Email Attempts at Northwestern.

Anyone can fall victim to a scam. If you click on a malicious link or share your password report it immediately! Email

Data Security

Desktop/Laptop Encryption
Prevent and protect information from accidental data loss and ensure your desktops and laptops are protected again unauthorized access. 

Protect Your Research Environment
Send,  store, and back up research data securely. 

Secure Your Working Environment
It's everyone's responsibility to comply with University policy and to use Northwestern's security resources to help ensure the safe and secure operation of the network and conduct of University business. 

Before You Leave Campus

Stay secure when traveling off campus for business or pleasure. Remember to Use Northwestern VPN on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet to create an encrypted connection to University resources. You can also connect securely by using the eduroam network at participating institutions. 

Unencrypted connections may put your communications at risk. Tips for Staying Secure During Travel.

Securing Your Devices

You use your devices to store and process sensitive information every day, which makes protecting your desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other devices an important part of securing both your identity and your data. Tips for Securing your Devices.

Multi-factor Authentication

Multi-factor Authentication adds an extra layer of login protection for Northwestern systems to:

  • Further protect sensitive data, even in the event that your NetID password has been compromised.
  • Help mitigate phishing attacks by preventing access to sensitive information.
  • Conveniently function on- and off-campus via a variety of phone types.

This technology, powered by Duo, integrates your phone into the login process, resulting in two types of authentication to verify your identity:

  • Something you know – your Northwestern NetID/NetID password
  • Something you have – your phone (mobile, office, or home)

Learn more about Multi-factor Authentication.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Virtual Private Network (VPN) establishes a "secure tunnel" for your computer on the Northwestern network. It provides strong encryption, enables authenticated access to the Northwestern network from external and untrusted environments, and proxies your network traffic so it appears to originate from within the Northwestern network. Stay secure with VPN.

Northwestern Box

Northwestern University has partnered with Box to deliver file sharing services to faculty, staff, and students. Northwestern Box provides individual, flexible online space for unlimited file storing or sharing. All Box content can be accessed online from computers or mobile devices. Learn more about Northwestern Box. There are also helpful best practices and tips to get the most out of your Box experience.

Security Flyers

Want one of these eye-catching flyers for your residence hall, office, or lab? Simply download, print, and post! Watch for more options as the campaign progresses.  Larger flyers are also available by contacting IT Communications.

Cybersecurity PDF poster. Text: Hook line and sinker. The phishing lure may be convincing but dont take the bait swim safely for more information visit: dash safe dash IT       Cybersecurity PDF poster. Text: For your information, understanding your data is the key to protecting it. For more information visit: dash safe dash IT      Image of a female with feet on suitcase with a list of common cyber safety tips while traveling

Illustration of common phishing practices       Image of a mobile phone and tablet       image of woman in purple cap holding mobile phone outward showing Multi-Factor app

Image of a man with a surprised look on his face       Image of an unorganized stack of paper and folders        Image of a woman walking with a rolling suitcase

Watch the Video - Protecting Your Information

Thomas P. Murphy, Chief Information Security Officer, Northwestern addresses the importance of keeping University and your personal information safe. 

Last Updated: 2 August 2018

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