U to provide sessions on Internet safety

By By Michael McFall

By Michael McFall

The Internet can be like a dark alley filled with scam artists and hackers ready to pounce on unsuspecting students, so the U will educate them about how to protect themselves and their private information.

The U Information Security and Privacy Office and the Office of Information Technology are holding the second annual Campus Information Security Awareness Day so students know how to explore the Internet without compromising their security. Just to get them started, any students who attend will receive a free copy of McAfee anti-virus software. There’s also information for the U Hospital and Clinics to learn how they can better protect patient health information online.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, but there are U-specific reasons why the school was reminded of the importance to dedicate a day to Internet security.

On Sept. 23, phishing scams surfaced in UMail accounts in an attempt to trick users into revealing their U account username and password.

From that day forward, the U began requiring everyone on campus to report any breach of protected health information to the Campus Help Desk or the Health Sciences Help Desk no later than 24 hours after the discovery of the breach. Immediate reporting is necessary to comply with the 60-day time limit for notification of patients and research participants about the breach of their patient health information, according to the U Office of Information Technology. The rule was implemented the same day the phishing scams appeared in UMail accounts.

Linda Criddle, president of online security company Look Both Ways, will lecture attendees about protecting themselves and their private information on the Internet. Criddle is also the former senior product manager for child safety at Microsoft.

There will also be several half-hour sessions with U information technology graduate students and employees for attendees to discuss how to protect themselves from hackers and illegal file sharing, among other online safety topics.

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