As an Ithaca College community member, it is everyone's job to protect their computer and data. Ithaca College has a network infrastructure that has many levels of security built into it: firewalls, spamfilters, enterprise level virus protection. These security measures help to create a safe computing environment.
However, many threats can still make it through the system defenses by relying on users doing something.
Computer hackers use social engineering to accomplish this. In the computer world, social engineering is the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain secure data or personal information. Social engineering is successful because its victims trust other people and are tricked into releasing information that they do not realize will be used to attack a computer network. For example, an IC staff member is tricked into emailing the email password to the Helpdesk. While that password may not seem valuable to the staff member, the social engineer can use that information in conjunction with other information that has been gathered to get closer to finding a way into the IC's network. Phishing is a computer security attack that relies on social engineering.
According to staysafeonline.org, protect your computer and your data by:
- Know who you're dealing with online.
- Keep your web browsers and operating system up to date.
- Back up important files.
- Use security software tools as your first line of defense.
- Use strong passwords or strong authentication technology to help protect your personal information.
- Learn what to do if something goes wrong.