ITS Blog



While cybersecurity has always been important, it’s now more important than ever to take easy steps to stay as secure as you can. As we spend more time online because of COVID-19, cybercriminals are eager to swoop in and steal sensitive information. It’s very important to protect yourselves from these attacks, so we hope you’ll pay special attention to the cybersecurity tips outlined below. Be sure to bookmark this page, as it’s chock-full of helpful information!

  • Keep your operating systems up-to-date. If you have a PC, be sure to upgrade to Windows 10. If you have a Mac, upgrade to macOS Big Sur. It’s also important to install the patches/updates that Microsoft and Apple release on a monthly basis.

  • Install antivirus software. For free antivirus software downloads, click here.

  • Practice good password management. Replace default passwords with strong, unique passphrases and never use the same password for multiple accounts. Use two-factor authentication (2FA) and a Password Manager (DashLane, LastPass) whenever possible. 

  • Carefully evaluate email attachments and links BEFORE clicking on them. Report “phishy” emails to

  • Install software and application updates as soon as they’re released.

  • Don’t use public WiFi networks or WiFi hotspots. Instead, use a VPN.

  • Backup your files to the cloud (i.e. Google Drive) and/or to an external hard drive. 

  • Don’t blindly give out personal information. Only share sensitive information with legitimate, authorized parties.

  • Don’t rely on default privacy settings, as they’re not always set to the most secure option. You may have to manually reconfigure them yourself.

  • Only use secure websites. Check for a padlock or “https” at the beginning of the URL.

  • Don’t click on pop-ups, as they might be filled with malware. Use ad blockers whenever possible.  

  • Use firewalls to protect your devices from malware.

  • Check your online accounts and financial statements regularly for suspicious activity.

  • Practice good Zoom health. Don’t publicly share private meeting links and be sure to update your Zoom client on a regular basis. Always sign-in to your Binghamton Zoom account FIRST. Hosts should use passcodes and waiting rooms for added security.

  • Don’t disclose your location on social media.

  • Use credit cards (not debit) when shopping both online and at brick & mortar retail stores. If something goes wrong, it’s much easier to get your money back with a credit card than it is with a debit card.

  • Use a Password Manager to store passwords and other confidential information on your computer.

  • Never insert foreign USB drives into your computer.

  • Be wary of any “urgent” themed message that requires an immediate response or action.

  • Don’t respond to unsolicited job offers. If it’s too good to be true, it most likely is.


Contact the Help Desk at 607-777-6420 or with any questions, comments or concerns. Report any suspicious activity, phishing hoaxes or scams to