Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Preventing a cyber attack

Cyber Security Awareness Month highlights need for web vigilance. 

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Information Technology Services (ITS) is committed to ensuring Queen’s community members have the knowledge and tools they need to be vigilant online.

“IT security at Queen’s is everyone’s responsibility,” says Bo Wandschneider, Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services). “The university has implemented several measures to help protect our users from malicious attacks; however, everyone needs to remain vigilant against such attacks.”

Most cyber security threats are delivered to victims by email, through websites, or by exploiting a vulnerability in a computer’s software or hardware.

By following five guidelines, individuals can help reduce the risk of cyber threats:

  • Keep your operating system, applications, and anti-virus software up-to-date with the latest patches.
  • Run routine anti-virus scans and promptly remove viruses and infected files.
  • Be careful about what you are clicking on. Don’t open unexpected emails, attachments, or web links.
  • Encrypt computers and devices that contain, or may contain, sensitive data. 
  • Back up your files regularly in case they need to be recovered from an earlier version.  Saving your files on OneDrive or in your Windows File Service drive ensures your files are protected if your computer is affected. Store your files on one of Queen’s University’s secure file storage services.

“If you suspect that your computer may be infected with ransomware or any other type of malware, please contact the IT Support Centre immediately,” says Denise Ernst, Queen’s University Information Security Officer. “We  also encourage members of the Queen’s community to complete the Information Security Awareness Training course, and familiarize themselves with the security resources available to them.”

To learn more on how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of a cyberattack, and putting your identity and the university data at risk, visit the ITS website