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Protect Yourself and Others - Cybersecurity 101

This page details several beginner tips to secure your devices and protect your online presence.


  • Use a passphrase longer than 14 characters in length and avoid reusing passphrases.
    • Even a 12-character password takes 62 trillion times longer to crack than a six-character password.
  • If you suspect your account has been compromised, check your account and password for possible breaches:
  • NDSU staff will Never ask you for your password.

Multi-Factor Authentication

  • Read your MFA Prompts before approving a push.
  • If you did not initiate a request, Do Not Approve a push and immediately contact NDSU IT.
  • NDSU staff will Never ask you to approve a multi-factor authentication push via phone or email.

Device Security

  • Keep your devices up to date with the most recent system and security updates
    • This includes installing Windows, macOS, or Linux updates when available.
    • Keep your Antivirus active and up to date.
    • Third party software like Adobe should also be kept up to date to avoid security vulnerabilities.
  • NDSU IT recommends users run their computer as a Standard User and not as an Administrator
    • Windows will automatically set up a new user as an Administrator, but this allows all software run on the system to be run as an Administrator.
    • If a malicious program or attackers are able to get control of a user's account, they can do more damage with an Administrator account than with a Standard User account.


  • Read all emails skeptically. Phishing scams often rely on a recipient's desire to help, or fear of implied or explicitly stated consequences.
  • If you believe an email is a phishing attempt, forward the attempt to 

    Keywords:phishing, mfa, two, factor, authentication, scam, hostile, secure, push, password, passphrase, safety   Doc ID:121627
    Owner:Tyre L.Group:IT Knowledge Base
    Created:2022-09-30 09:31 CSTUpdated:2022-11-15 08:41 CST
    Sites:IT Knowledge Base
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