Top Habits of Highly Secure NYU Community Members

By Nicolas Lebrun | October 22, 2019

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Ten Tips to Help Keep You Secure Online

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). Keep your data and devices safe by following these ten helpful security habits.

Be aware of your surroundings and keep mobile devices within reach in public settings.

Mobile devices are valuable to thieves not only for their hardware but also for the personal information they contain. Take the necessary precautions to make sure your devices don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Install anti-malware software on your computer(s).

Part of NYU IT’s commitment to protecting NYU’s network and information includes providing eligible community members licensed copies of Symantec Endpoint Protection. Determine your eligibility and download the software at

Use NYU’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) for secure access to the NYU network when off-campus.

NYU-NET Remote Access (VPN) provides eligible community members secure, password-protected access to NYU’s campus network from off-campus locations. Visit for more information.

Use long and unique passwords or passphrases for each account, and don’t reuse passwords.

Strengthen your passwords by using a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols while avoiding the use of dictionary words or simple adjacent keyboard combinations, such as “qwerty.” See the ServiceLink knowledge base for more tips.

Be sure to close all browser sessions and log out of public computers when you’re finished.

Although some sensitive web services have limited session times, most, such as email or Facebook, don’t regularly log out inactive users. This leaves your accounts vulnerable to whoever uses the public device after you.

Use unique passwords for each account and never share or disclose your passwords or credentials.

Sharing passwords is a known risk that is even riskier if you use the same one across across multiple accounts and someone discovers it.

Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use, and set your devices to ask you before connecting to open networks.

Connecting to an open network (e.g., one without a secure login) can leave you at risk of a savvy cyber attacker hijacking your session or accessing other information.

Do not open unexpected email attachments or click on suspicious links.

Email remains a common avenue for cyber attacks. Dangerous file extensions to avoid include ZIP, RAR archives, and EXE file formats.

Benefit from the additional security provided by NYU MFA.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) adds another layer of security to your accounts, requiring the use of a device to prevent anyone other than you from accessing sensitive information. Visit to enroll in MFA and set up the Duo Mobile App plus a backup method.

Subscribe to the NYU IT Security News & Alerts blog.

Receive security news and alerts by email when you subscribe. These periodic announcements will keep you up-to-date and provide tips and resources to improve your information security savvy.