Kansas State University


IT News

Author: Cathy Rodriguez

Cybersecurity: Identity theft and internet scams

Today’s technology allows us to connect around the world, to bank and shop online, and to control our televisions, homes, and cars from our smartphones. With this added convenience comes an increased risk of identity theft and Internet scams. #BeCyberSmart on the Internet—at home, at school, at work, on mobile devices, and on the go.


  • The total number of data breaches reported in 2018 decreased 23% from the total number of breaches reported in 2017, but the reported number of consumer records containing sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) exposed increased 126%.
  • Credit card fraud tops the list of identity theft reports in 2018. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 167,000 reports from people who said their information was misused on an existing account or to open a new credit card account.
  • Consumers reported $905 million in total fraud losses in 2017, a 21.6% increase over 2016.

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Cybersecurity: While traveling

In a world where we are constantly connected, cybersecurity cannot be limited to the home or office. When you’re traveling— whether domestic or international—it is always important to practice safe online behavior and take proactive steps to secure Internet-enabled devices. The more we travel, the more we are at risk for cyberattacks. #BeCyberSmart and use these tips to connect with confidence while on the go.


Before You Go

  • If you connect, you must protect. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device, or other network devices, the best defense against viruses and malware is to update to the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems. Sign up for automatic updates, if you can, and protect your devices with anti-virus software.
  • Back up your information. Back up your contacts, financial data, photos, videos, and other mobile device data to another device or cloud service in case your device is compromised and you have to reset it to factory settings.
  • Be up-to-date. Keep your software updated to the latest version available. Maintain your security settings to keeping your information safe by turning on automatic updates so you don’t have to think about it, and set your security software to run regular scans.
  • Keep it locked. Lock your device when you are not using it. Even if you only step away for a few minutes, that is enough time for someone to steal or misuse your information. Set your devices to lock after a short time and use strong PINs and passwords.
  • Double your login protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device, such as your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a secure token—a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring.

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Cybersecurity: Trivia Contest

Information Technology Services is hosting a cybersecurity trivia contest each Thursday throughout the rest of October. The contest will be conducted on Twitter starting on Thursday, Oct. 10. Participate in our weekly questions to earn a chance to win!

Trivia Contest

How does it work?

  1. Follow us on Twitter – https://twitter.com/kstateithelp
  2. Two new questions will be posted each Thursday throughout the rest of October. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. That gives you 8 chances to participate and test your cyber-intelligence.
  3. Answer each question in the comments and then retweet the post with the hashtag #BeCyberSmartKstate for a chance to win!
  4. You must answer the current week’s questions before the next questions are released the following week.

You must be a current K-State student, staff, or faculty to win. The winner will be notified on November 7 via direct message on Twitter. If you have any questions about the contest, contact Cathy Rodriguez@ksu.edu.

Visit the Cybersecurity Awareness Month website to stay up-to-date on activities throughout the month.

Oct. 16: Introduction to Qualtrics

Qualtrics surveys can be used for event registrations, satisfaction surveys, online forms, academic research, training, and more. Join us for an Introduction to Qualtrics training session from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 16 in 306 Calvin Hall. All students, faculty, and staff who use this research suite are welcome to attend.

Topics to be covered:

  • Create and manage surveys
  • Customize the look and feel
  • Collaborate with others
  • Use block options and survey flow
  • Use display and skip logic
  • Distribute a survey
  • Run and analyze reports

Graduate and undergraduate students must work with an advisor/supervisor for access to Qualtrics using this request form.

Register through HRIS. See Using HRIS to register for classes.

Cybersecurity: Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things (IoT) or smart devices refers to any object or device that is connected to the Internet. This rapidly expanding set of “things,” which can send and receive data, includes cars, appliances, smart watches, lighting, home assistants, home security, and more. #BeCyberSmart to connect with confidence and protect your interconnected world.


  • Cars, appliances, wearables, lighting, healthcare, and home security all contain sensing devices that can talk to another machine and trigger other actions. Examples include devices that direct your car to an open spot in a parking lot; mechanisms that control energy use in your home; and tools that track eating, sleeping, and exercise habits.
  • New Internet-connected devices provide a level of convenience in our lives, but they require that we share more information than ever.
  • The security of this information, and the security of these devices, is not always guaranteed. Once your device connects to the Internet, you and your device could potentially be vulnerable to all sorts of risks.
  • With more connected “things” entering our homes and our workplaces each day, it is important that everyone knows how to secure their digital lives.

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Cybersecurity: Social media

Now more than ever, consumers spend increasing amounts of time on the Internet. With every social media account you sign up for, every picture you post, and status you update, you are sharing information about yourself with the world. How can you be proactive to stay safe online and, “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.”? #BeCyberSmart and take these simple steps to connect with confidence and safely navigate the social media world.


  • 3.48 billion people worldwide now use social media worldwide. That’s an increase of 9% from 2018. Put another way: 45% of the total world population are using social networks.
  • Digital consumers spend nearly 2.5 hours on social networks and social messaging every day.
  • 69% of U.S. adults use at least one social media site3 and the average American has 7.1 social media accounts.

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Cybersecurity: Online privacy

The Internet touches almost all aspects of our daily lives. We are able to shop, bank, connect with family and friends, and handle our medical records all online. These activities require you to provide personally identifiable information (PII) such as your name, date of birth, account numbers, passwords, and location information. #BeCyberSmart when sharing personal information online to reduce the risk of becoming a cybercrimes victim.


  • 64% of U.S. adults have noticed or been notified of a major data breach affecting their sensitive accounts or personal data.
  • Roughly half of Americans (49%) feel that their personal information is less secure than it was five years ago.
  • 58% of Americans age 50 and older are more likely to feel that their personal information has become less safe in recent years: 58% of Americans in this age group express this opinion.
  • 69% of consumers believe companies are vulnerable to hacks and cyberattacks.

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Join us today for the State of IT Security presentation

Today begins National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). Register for the “State of IT Security at K-State” presentation and join us from 1;30 -2:30 p.m. today. After you register, you will receive a Zoom meeting invitation.

Some highlights that will be covered include:

  • National Cybersecurity Awareness Month events
  • Attack Metrics — cyber attacks at K-State
  • Future of cybersecurity at K-State
  • Security changes as K-State transitions to the cloud
  • How every K-Stater can help

See the K-State It Security Awareness Month web page to keep up-to-date on the latest details. Follow us on Twitter to stay involved with all the activities throughout the month of October.

State of IT Security presentation kicks off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)

October marks the sixteenth annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security.

Josh McCune, IT Security Analyst, will kick off the month with a State of IT Security presentation from 1:30-2:30 p.m., Tues., Oct.1.  For security purposes, registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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