Cyber Security Awareness

As of 2014, 90% of American adults own a cell phone, 64% a smartphone, and 42% a tablet. These stats are even higher among college age adults. Now is the time to learn what is safe and unsafe to do with these devices.

The Office of Information Technology and IT Support Providers across the Auburn University campus encourage you when using your mobile devices to Stop. Think.

Stop. Think. Connect. - Secure your mobile devices

stop. think. connect.

More than Half of Smartphone Owners Use Their Phones to get Health Information, do Online Banking
% of smartphone owners who have used their phone for the following activities
  • 62
  • 57
  • 44
  • 43
  • 40
  • 30
  • 18

data source

Be mindful of how you connect

Mobile devices allow us to stay dialed-in but remember these tips when you're on the go.

  1. Be wary of free public wi-fi hotspots
    Avoid using websites that require a login, especially online banking, because anyone on the same open wi-fi may be able to intercept your data transmissions.
  2. Use a VPN
    If you're not on a secure wi-fi (like Auburn University's AU_WiFi) or using your 3G/4G data plan, it's recommended to use a VPN.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings
    Shoulder-surfers try to watch users enter usernames, passwords, and other personal information. Kindly insist on your personal space.

Don't be a phishing victim

Every day 80,000 people fall for a phishing scam and give away their personal information. Mobile users are particularly susceptible to phishing scams and often overlook some of the warning signs. When you're contacted via email, text, or phone call be on the lookout for these phishing warning signs.

  1. Non-personalized greeting
    Phishing messages usually do not address you by name, but use a generic greeting, such as "Dear User."
  2. Urgent/Threatening language
    Phrases such as "Your account will be terminated if you do not..." are often used to elicit a response.
  3. URLs don’t match and are not secure
    If an email has a link, be cautious. On touch devices, you should long press links to determine the link destination, and on desktops, you should hover over links. Look for the lock and never log into a website that's not secure.
  4. Poor grammar/misspellings
    Most phishing attacks originate from countries where English is not their first language. Use this to your advantage by spotting their errors.
  5. Subject matter does not relate
    If you don't bank at Wells Fargo, don't reply to a message "from" Wells Fargo.
  6. Request for personal information
    The tell-tale sign of a phishing message is the request for personal information, such as your address, social security number, account number, etc.

One Fish, Two Fish, Scammed Phish, Duped Phish: Don't get duped by a Phishing Scam.
2014 National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Mobile security

Most people secure their homes, families, and desktop computers, but forget to secure their mobile devices. Use these tips to keep yourself, your device, and your data safe.

  1. Fill out your emergency contact information
    Most mobile devices allow you to fill out emergency contact information that can be accessed from the lock screen without getting into your phone. If your device is lost and found by someone or if you are in an accident this information can be crucial.
  2. Turn on your lock screen
    Enable the lock screen with a password or PIN so someone cannot just pick up your phone and have access to your photos, contacts, email, etc.
  3. Encrypt your device
    Encrypting your device will prevent someone from getting your data if your device is lost or stolen.
  4. Don't root or jail-break your device
    Rooting your device may allow you to do some interesting things, but it puts you at a much higher risk of getting malware.
  5. Backup
    Accidents happen. Backup your data often so you won't lose your precious photos and other data in case your device is destroyed, lost, or stolen.
  6. Location sharing
    Don't allow just any website or app to know your location. Find out why they need that info first.
  7. Install a phone locater app
    If your device is stolen or lost, a phone locater app can help you and/or the police find your device.

Stop. Think. Post. - Online content is forever

stop. think. post.

A "think before you post" video about how quickly you can lose control of your online posts.

Once you post it, it's online forever

  1. Be careful what you share
    The more personal information you reveal online, the more vulnerable you are to scams, spam, and identity theft.
  2. Protect your privacy
    Read the privacy policy for websites where you are sharing content and know how your information can be used.
  3. Don't go public
    Only share content with friends and lock your profile.
  4. Think long-term
    Once something is online, you can never delete it. Anything published online could have been viewed, emailed, printed or saved by anyone.

Professional Use

In an increasingly connected global and competitive workforce, your letter of interest and résumé may not be all a prospective employer is reading about you. As social media becomes the latest branding strategy, networking technique, job seeking tool and recruitment vehicle, it's also becoming the latest way for people to get job offers rescinded, reprimanded at work, and even fired. What does your professional online image look like right now?

  1. Take control of your online persona
    Once you post about yourself online, it is there to stay and out of your control. Think before you post the next selfie, consider the words you use online in your personal social media sites. Use your ePortfolio to present yourself in professional ways, and have these posts feed into your social media presences, like Facebook or LinkedIn.
  2. Check your privacy settings
    An additional way for you to control your online presence is more restricted privacy settings of your personal social media sites. Leave your LinkedIn account wide open to catch the eye of prospective employers but lock down your Facebook profile so that fewer people can see your latest discussions with friends.
  3. Don't announce interviews, raises, or new jobs
    This tip is really for individuals currently employed. If you're keeping your search "below the radar" from your current employer, don't post anything, anywhere about your job search.  If you don't have a job, posting that you're excited about your new job interview is okay -- congrats!
  4. Don't badmouth your current or previous employer
    Negative comments can keep you from getting a job or may even get you fired.
  5. Keep it clean
    Many employers provide computing resources and subsequently monitor those resources. Don't use these devices to access questionable content or even have sensitive conversations with your significant other on a work provided device.
  6. Check with your manager
    Many businesses have a social media policy. If they do, adhere to the policy.

A "think before you post" video posted by the Australian Federal Police.

89% of Cell Owners Use Their Phones During Their Most Recent Social Activity with Others
% of people who did the following using the cellphone during their most recent social gathering
  • 61
  • 58
  • 52
  • 52
  • 34
  • 33
  • 29
  • 25

data source

Mobile Etiquette

Professional use of mobile devices can have a huge impact on your employment status. Proper mobile etiquette can also have a big influence on your job and friend statuses. Remember these tips:

  1. Be in control of your phone, don't let it control you!
  2. Speak softly.
  3. Be courteous to those you are with; turn off your phone if it will be interrupting a conversation or activity.
  4. Watch your language, especially when others can overhear you.
  5. Avoid talking about personal problems in a public place.
  6. If it must be on and it could bother others, use the silent ring mode and move away to talk.
  7. Don’t make calls in a library, theater, place of worship, or from your table in a restaurant.
  8. Don’t text during class or a meeting at your job.
  9. NEVER drive and use your phone at the same time.

Stop. Think. Buy. - Shop safely online

stop. think. buy.

Tips for safe online shopping

  1. Use familiar websites
    Use websites that have a strong reputation rather than shopping with a search engine. Beware of misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain (such as .net instead of .com).
  2. Look for the lock
    Never buy anything online using your credit card that doesn't have proper SSL encryption. Look for the lock in the address bar and the URL to start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://).
  3. Don't tell all
    No online retailer needs your social security number or your birthday to do business.
  4. Check statements
    Regularly go online to review your bank statements to look for suspicious activity.
  5. Use strong passwords
    Create a strong password that is different for each website.
  6. Avoid public computers
    If possible, don't shop online from a public computer. You never know what software may be installed that could monitor your activity.
  7. Use a VPN
    If you're not on a secure wi-fi network (like Auburn University's AU_WiFi) or using your 3G/4G data plan it's recommended to use a VPN.
  8. Go to the gift card source
    Avoid purchasing gift cards from discount and auction sites like eBay. Buy gift cards from the source.
  9. If it's too good to be true...
    You know how that phrase ends. Pass on the once in a lifetime deals.

Infographic: Mobile users represent 80 million U.S. consumers and 25-54 year old list shopping as their #2 online activity behind social networking.

Use official app stores

You should always download apps from trusted sources such as Google Play and the Apple App Store. While apps that contain malware sometimes slip into the official app stores, the chances of getting a corrupt app is much higher when you side-load or download apps from 3rd party sources. Even when you do install apps from official app stores review the permissions the app is requesting. Does that game really need access to your contacts, wi-fi settings, and call history?

Here are some apps that we can recommend:

Official Auburn University App

Official Auburn University App

Whether you are a current or prospective member of the Auburn Family, stay connected with Auburn University through your Android phone or tablet. Use it to access the latest campus events and news, your schedule and grades, library resources, restaurants, people finder, campus map, live bus locations, and more! Android iOS
Auburn Accessibility

Auburn Accessibility

Do you attend Auburn University? If so, then Auburn Accessibility is the app for you! The Auburn Accessibility app provides for a convenient way to ask the Office of Accessibility any question you may have, schedule a jAUnt ride, inquire about services, and contact anyone in our office. Android iOS
Auburn Athletics Digital

Auburn Athletics Digital

The Auburn Athletics Digital app is the official digital publishing tool of the Auburn University Athletics Department. Fans can download the latest interactive publications, including the Athletics bi-monthly magazine, Tiger Roar. Publications feature moving graphics, videos, vivid images and more. Go behind the scenes with the Auburn Athletics Digital app. Android iOS
Auburn Career Fair Plus

Auburn Career Fair Plus

If we say career fair you say... intimidating? overwhelming? stressful? This app's goal is to change that! Android iOS
Auburn Guides

Auburn Guides

Auburn Guides provides official information about Auburn University’s Camp War Eagle, Successfully Orienting Students (SOS), Career Center, Parent and Family Programs, and Welcome Week events. Android iOS
Auburn University Campus Recreation

Auburn Rec

Are you an Auburn University student? This app puts detailed information about Auburn University Campus Recreation and the Recreation and Wellness Center at your fingertips. Register for group fitness classes, check out Intramural and Club Sport schedules, get updated pool hours, browse a list of upcoming events and programs, and receive notification of closures, cancellations, and more! Select your “favorites” with a click of a button, and receive reminders directly on your phone. Android iOS
Auburn Tigers Gameday

Auburn Tigers Gameday

The official Auburn Tigers Gameday application is a must-have for fans headed to campus or following the Tigers from afar. With FREE LIVE AUDIO, interactive social media, and all the scores and stats surrounding the game, the Auburn Tigers Gameday application covers it all! Android iOS

Canvas by Instructure

Students, instantly access your Canvas courses--for free. Just like Canvas on the web, but you don’t have to lug around a laptop to keep up on your homework. Android iOS
Corq by CollegiateLink

Corq by CollegiateLink

Discover amazing events and groups around campus from your favorite mobile device. Corq pinpoints over 130,000 college and university events a year from more than 250 campuses across North America and helps you get plugged into college life. Android iOS
Skype for Business

Lync (Skype for Business)

Lync 2013 extends the power of Lync and Skype for Business – including voice & video over wireless, rich presence, instant messaging, conferencing, and calling features from a single, easy-to-use interface. Android iOS
Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel

View, create and edit Excel spreadsheets. Android iOS
Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote

Capture your thoughts, discoveries, and ideas with OneNote, your very own digital notebook. With OneNote you can seize that moment of inspiration, take your class notes, or track that list of errands that are too important to forget. Whether you're at home, in the office, or on the go, your notes are available to you on all your devices. Android iOS
Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint

View, create and edit PowerPoint presentations. Android iOS
Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word

View, create and edit Word documents . Android iOS


OneDrive is the one place for everything in your work and personal life. It gives you free online storage for all your personal files so you can get to them from your iOS device, computer (PC or Mac), and any other devices you use. With OneDrive for Business, you also get storage for your work files so you can share and collaborate on them with other people at your work or school. Android iOS


Panopto Mobile lets you access all of your organization’s video content from any iPad or iPhone. View HD video presentations, lectures, training courses and events. Search inside your videos to find any keyword or topic. And record video presentations using your built-in camera. Android iOS
SOW - A Planting Companion

SOW - A Planting Companion

SOW is designed to tell you the optimum time to plant each crop in your home garden. Android iOS


Scopia Mobile allows mobile users to connect with full video, audio and H.239 data collaboration to the nearly 2 million installed standards-based video conferencing and telepresence systems worldwide. Android iOS
This Is Auburn

This Is Auburn

This is Auburn is an official iPhone and iPad app of Auburn University and the Auburn Athletics Department. Whether you are alumni, a fan, or a current or prospective student, this app with immerse you in all things Auburn. Relive the traditions, Auburn’s athletic teams, the successful graduates, the facilities, the Family and much more. The images and videos will make you feel right at home on Auburn’s campus. Android iOS
Tiger Nutrition

Tiger Nutrition

The Tiger Nutrition app is for Auburn Student-Athletes as well as students and fans who like to follow the Tigers and would like healthy food recommendations for restaurants in and around SEC towns. Android iOS
TransLoc Rider

TransLoc Rider (Tiger Transit)

TransLoc has raised the bar with this wholly re-imagined transit-tracking app. If you've ever stood in the rain wondering where your bus or train is, TransLoc Rider is the app for you. TransLoc Rider provides real-time transit tracking, arrival predictions and proximity alerts. Android iOS

Stop. Think. Move. - Keep it in your pocket

stop. think. move.

Distracted Walking Injuries on the Rise
Emergency room visits for injuries related to texting or talking on a mobile phone by pedestrians are up, plus it is believed these numbers are underreported.
  • 1,105
  • 1,100
  • 922
  • 813

data source

Don't be a "petextrian"

More accidents occur from texting while walking than texting while driving.

An ABC News article states that "After decades of decline, pedestrian fatalities are once again on the rise...since 2009, pedestrian fatalities have actually increased by 15% -- climbing to 4,735 in 2013."

"That's one pedestrian death every two hours."

The article continues that, "distracted walkers take longer to cross the street and are more likely to ignore traffic lights or neglect to look both ways." Furthermore, "nearly 40% of U.S. teens have been hit or nearly hit by a passing car, motorcycle, or bike -- and those hit or nearly hit tend to report higher rates of cell phone-related distraction than their peers."

Check out The Washington Post article: "Eyes down, minds elsewhere, ‘deadwalkers’ are among us."

Text Neck

"Text neck," the posture formed by leaning over a cellphone while reading and texting is a big problem" so says a NPR article that sites Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine.

Excerpts from the post explain that "tilting the head forward just 15 degrees can increase the force on the cervical spine to 27 pounds. And at 60 degrees — the common texting posture seen on sidewalks, metros and office hallways everywhere — the stress on the spine can hit 60 pounds, thanks to the forces of gravity."

Hansraj concludes that "these stresses may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possible surgeries."

Text Neck: the posture taken when looking down at your mobile device

Texting While Driving

So much public education has been given about the dangers of texting and driving; however, a staggering 49% of adults admit to texting and driving, even though 98% of adults say they know the practice is unsafe.

  • 9 Americans are killed every day from vehicle accidents that involve a distracted driver
  • 25% of vehicle crashes involve a cellphone
  • 40% of teens say they were in a car where the driver's use of a cellphone put them in danger
  • 33% of U.S. drivers ages 18-64 reported reading or writing text messages while driving
  • 341,000 vehicle crashes in 2013 involved texting
  • 5 seconds is the average time drivers take their eyes off the road to send a text
  • 21 - 24 year olds are the most likely to text or email while driving

stop. think. promote.

Please display these promotional items during October, National Cyber Security Awareness Month. All items are provided by the Office of Information Technology and are free of charge to use as print items. All promotional items must be used in the manner intended. Reproducing all or part of any promotional items for uses other than intended is prohibited. If you are with another school or institution that plans to use these materials, please let us know at

Previous Cyber Security Awareness Campaigns

2014 Campaign Icon 2013 Campaign Icon 2012 Campaign Icon 2011 Campaign Icon 2010 Campaign Icon 2009 Campaign Icon 2008 Campaign Icon 2007 Campaign Icon

Bonus food for thought