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UNF Cyber Security Awareness Month Activities

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and every year Information Technology Services participates in a series of activities throughout the month. Throughout the month ITS and Communications and Training have compiled a variety of resources and events to help you better understand cyber security and the simple steps you can take to protect yourself, your family and our organization.


Cyber Security 18 October 2021

SAVE THE DATE: Cyber Security Symposium Oct. 18

The seventh edition of the Cyber Security Symposium will be held Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Adam W. Herbert University Center. The event will be available via a live virtual webinar and limited to 120 in-person attendees to ensure proper social distancing in accordance with UNF COVID-19 safety guidelines. This year's Symposium features representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with a presentation by the Federal Aviation Administration. Register online.

Weekly Themes

Be Cyber Smart

Week of October 4 (Week 1) - Be Cyber Smart

As our lives have become increasingly dependent on technology, virtually all personal and business data is kept on internet-connected platforms, which can become a gold mine for bad actors. The first full week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will highlight best security practices and focus on general cyber hygiene to keep your information safe. Own your role in cybersecurity by starting with the basics. Creating strong passwords and using multi-factor authentication, backing up your data, and updating your software are great places to start.


Tip of the Week:

Much of our personal information lives online as we become increasingly dependent on new and emerging technologies. Therefore, it is important to practice good cyber hygiene in order to protect yourself from future problems. One of the biggest ways you can improve your online security is by using a password manager. Instead of needing to remember many different passwords, you can create one strong password and then have the password manager randomly generate strong passwords for the applications that you use. Similarly, make use of two factor where possible. Two factor authentication, like Duo, helps to stop many account compromises before they can escalate. Finally, make sure to install and use an ad blocker when browsing the web. Ad Blockers like Adblock Plus or uBlock are popular tools that can help to protect against malicious ads and safeguard your computer.

Phishing folders

Week of October 11 (Week 2): Fight the Phish

Phishing attacks and scams have thrived since the COVID pandemic began in 2020 and today, phishing attacks account for more than 80 percent of reported security incidents. Week 2 of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will stress the importance of being wary of emails, text messages or chat boxes that come from a stranger or someone you were not expecting. Think before you click on any suspicious emails, links or attachments and make sure to report any suspicious emails if you can!


Tip of the Week:

Attackers have learned it’s easier to trick a person than a computer, so they go phishing.  They might want you to download a file, click a link, or go buy gift cards.  Regardless, a successful phish means that the attacker got something they wanted like your password, a chance to install malware, or money. 

Fortunately, attackers tend to reuse ideas, and this helps the us identify their attacks.  Phishing messages will often have one or more of the following characteristics:

  1. Spelling or grammatical errors.
  2. Try to instill a sense of urgency in the reader.   For example: “Click this link to verify your account before it’s deleted.”
  3. Try to impersonate someone of perceived authority.  For example: Your boss asking for you to run out and buy gift cards.
  4. They come from unusual email addresses.  Example: is not the email we’d expect a UNF employee to use.

When you receive an email that just seems ‘off’ contact the alleged sender using something other than email and verify that they sent it.   If not, then use the Phish Alert Button in your email client.  This flags the message in our email system to hopefully stop others from getting it.  Also, don’t interact with the sender –even as a joke.  All it will do is invite further attempts. 



As time goes on, the emails become more targeted and more authentic looking so it’s even more important than ever to avoid the phish.  


Internet security padlock with showing the Internet network connection

Week of October 18 (Week 3): Explore. Experience. Share

Week 3 of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will highlight the Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week led by National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE). This is a week-long campaign that inspires and promotes the exploration of cybersecurity careers. Whether it’s students, veterans, or those seeking a career change, the dynamic field of cybersecurity is rapidly growing and has something for everyone.


Due to the ongoing, fast paced nature of Cybersecurity, it can come off as intimidating, but joining groups of like-minded individuals can be a great start for one's journey into Cybersecurity. Individuals interested in exploring a career in Cybersecurity, UNF is home to a student-lead organization called "Osprey Security" to help introduce people to the field. Since Cybersecurity can be referred to as a specialized offshoot of IT, there are as many specializations within it as there are within the field of IT itself! Careers can vary from business focused positions to penetration testing (ethical hacking). The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS) offers  helpful tools to explore the various career paths  within Cybersecurity.  For those looking to start learning, we can recommend taking a look at  this collection of resources .

Various resources connected wirelessly to a device

Week of October 25 (Week 4): Cybersecurity First

Week 4 is all about making security a priority. For businesses, this means building security into products and processes. Make cybersecurity training a part of employee onboarding and equip staff with the tools they need to keep the organization safe. For individuals, keep cybersecurity at the forefront of your mind as you connect daily. Before purchasing a device or online product, do your research. When you set up a new device or app, consider your security and privacy settings and update default passwords. Cybersecurity should not be an afterthought.