Technology Security

Cyber Security

The holiday season is fast approaching, and it is a busy time for all and the perfect time for cybercriminals to try to exploit you. We live in a more connected world than ever before, and it's important to stay Cyber-Aware. The internet touches almost every aspect of people's daily life, whether we are aware of it or not. IS&T recommends you follow the tips outlined below every day of the year to stay safe online.

In recent years, universities, like everyone else, have increasingly become targets of online threats. Phishing is the most popular and effective way for adversaries to gain access to your personal information and other systems you have access to. Please take a moment to read and remember to report ANY possible phishing attempts by forwarding them to or calling the Help Desk at x5050 or 216-687-5050.

Scammers have gone to great lengths to make a phishing message look legitimate. Urgency scams are the oldest trick in the book and can be used to circumvent skepticism. Listed below are key takeaways and examples of notifications you may receive and the appropriate action to take:

Notification You Receive  

 Appropriate Action

You receive an email from your professor or supervisor asking for your cell phone number or to purchase gift cards.

Do not respond and forward to Contact your supervisor via a known phone number to confirm this request.

This scam is one of the most common. Institutions with publicly available organization charts make it very simple for a scammer to register an email address on any free email system, they simply change the display name to appear to be a supervisor or professor.

Emails asking for your login information. 

No matter how legitimate the email looks, do not give anyone your username or password. 

No one other than you need to know your passwords. Forward these emails to immediately! 

You receive an email from "tech support" asking you to verify information or telling you it is urgent and to click on a link.

Urgency is a scammer's best friend.

If it is related to your CSU account always verify by contacting the Help Desk at x5050 or 216-687-2196. If it is not related to your CSU account, verify by emailing or calling using information on the website of the mentioned account. NEVER DIRECTLY REPLY TO THESE EMAILS. 

You receive an email or phone call from your bank asking you to verify your information. 

Do not respond to the email, click any links or give any of your information to the phone representative. Instead, contact your financial institution or log in to your customer portal by going directly to your bank's website. 

A family member sends you a message saying they've been robbed on vacation and need you to send a wire transfer to get home.

This scam was common via Facebook messenger. Once again, try to confirm by calling your family member, or call their hotel to speak directly with them about the situation

Key takeaways on how to stay cyber aware:

  • Always be skeptical!
  • IS&T recommends not forwarding your student email to other services
  • We will never ask for username and password
  • Send all phishing messages to
  • Nothing is ever too urgent not to verify
  • Never respond to a possible phishing email. Always contact the requester via another form of communication, such as a phone call
  • It's important to report all incidents, especially if you've fallen victim! There's a lesson to be learned from every victim, and it's our responsibility to ensure that lesson is shared among our community

The links below are great resources for cyber awareness: 

Visit for a great collection of tools and information to help you stay safe online.