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Cyber Security

IT Security Information

Information security is a shared responsibility of all members of the Austin Peay State University community and is critical to the university’s success.  The Office of Information Technology is committed to preserving the availability, confidentiality and integrity of APSU information technology resources by improving the identification and management of threats and vulnerabilities, fostering resilient and safe computing environments for the university community, and promoting a campus wide security awareness and culture.


 October 2020 is National Security Awareness Month!

Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart

This year's theme empowers individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, with a particular emphasis on this year's key message: If You Connect It, Protect It.

If everyone does their part - implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating vulnerable audiences or training employees - our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for everyone.


Make a different long and unique passphrase for each of your accounts.  Length trumps complexity.  A strong passphrase is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long.  Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember.  Use 2-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication (like biometrics, security keys, or a unique, one-time code through an app on your mobile device) whenever offered.  Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts.


If you receive an enticing offer via email or text, don't be so quick to click on the link.  Instead, go directly to the company's website to verify is is legitimate.  If you're unsure who an email is from - even if the details appear accurate - or if the email looks "phishy," do not respond and do not click on any links or open any attachments found in that email as they may be infected with malware.

Links in email, tweets, texts, posts, social media messages, and online advertising are the easiest way for cyber criminals to get your sensitive information.  By wary of clicking on links or downloading anything that comes from a stranger or that you were not expecting. Essentially, don't trust links.

Keep all software on Internet connected devices - including personal computers, smartphones, and tablets - current to reduce risk of infection from ransomware and malware. Configure your devices to automatically update or to notify you when an update is available.

Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely. If you have a copy of your data and your device falls victim to ransomware or other cyber threats, you will be able to restore from a backup.  Use the 3-2-1 rule as a guide to backing your data.  The rule is:  keep at least three (3) copies of your data, and store two (2) backup copies on different storage media, with one (1) of them located offsite.

Every time you sign up for a new account, download a new app, or get a new device, immediately configure the privacy and security settings to your comfort level for information sharing. Regularly check these settings (at least once a year) to make sure they are still configured to your comfort.

Think before posting about yourself or others online.  Consider what a post reveals, who might see it, and how it might affect you or others.  Limit how much personal information you share in online profiles.

Public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure, which means anyone could potentially see what you are doing on your laptop or smartphone while you are connected to them. Limit what you don on public wifi. and avoid logging in to key accounts like email and financial service. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or personal/mobile hotspot if you need a more secure connection.

Most connected appliances, toys, and devices are supported by a mobile application.  Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background, or using default permissions you never realized you approved - gathering personal information without your knowledge, while also putting your identity and privacy at risk.  Check your app permissions and delete what you don't need or no longer use.