Cyber Security Awareness Month - Malware

Posted on 10/28/2019 10:11:48 AM

To finish out Cyber Security Awareness Month, here are some tips on how to keep from getting “tricked” into allowing malware onto your computer.

Malware includes programs such as viruses, spyware, adware. and ransomware:

  • Viruses infect one computer, copy themselves, and then spread to other computers.
  • Viruses often provide a conduit through which cyber-criminals can access and steal information.
  • Trojans are malware disguised as legitimate software that bad actors trick you to install to gain access to your computer and data.
  • Spyware programs are obtained by clicking on bad web pages and links. They monitor your activity and can steal information, such as passwords and Social Security and credit card numbers.
  • Adware programs are similar to spyware with the additional annoyance of delivering unwanted pop-up ads.
  • Ransomware is a type of malicious software that blocks access to your computer until you pay a sum of money.

 To keep your computer running efficiently and to protect your personal information:

  • Keep your computer software up to date and use antivirus software, such as Windows Defender.
  • Do not open suspicious email messages, links, or web pages. If you are unsure, verify the source.
  • Don’t download and install programs that seem too good to be true, as they are often trojan malware.
  • Phones are also susceptible to malware.
  • Scan external devices, such as USBs, if you are using them across multiple computers.

All IUP faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to take advantage of the university’s site license for MalwareBytes. This can be downloaded and installed on personal machines, free of charge from the IT Support Center Software page.

Phishing Contest Continues

As part of Cyber Security Awareness Month, IT Services is having a phishing contest. Information about phishing can be found on the IT Support Center site.

Now that you know what a phish is and how to identify one, we want you to come up with your best original phish message. Entries for the phishing contest should be submitted to and will be judged based on creativity and use of phishing factors.  Three winners (first, second, and third place) will be picked from the submissions we receive. A $25 Co-Op gift card will be awarded to the top three entries. Only one submission per person is allowed and is limited to IUP students, faculty, and staff. Submissions must be received by October 31, the last day of the contest. Good luck!