Steps to Take to Help Prevent Cybersecurity Attacks

April 1, 2022

To: All Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Students
From: Kevin Boyd, Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, and Michele Rasmussen, Dean of Students in the University
Subject: Steps to Take to Help Prevent Cybersecurity Attacks
Date: March 31, 2022

In recent weeks, media and government sources have reported an increase in attempted computer hacking and other cybercrimes. It is important that the University and members of our community are aware of these threats and that we take proper steps to respond to them.

In accordance with recent guidance from the White House, the University is reviewing its cybersecurity preparedness and procedures. We are also asking all members of the University community to be alert for threats and help protect personal and institutional data and devices by taking the following actions:

  • Install security software to protect against viruses and malware.
    • The University provides CrowdStrike Falcon for all Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, whether they are UChicago-owned or personal devices.
    • View the antivirus article for more information and installation instructions.
  • Regularly back up your materials and data.
    • Back up your files on a regular basis to a cloud storage service such as Box, G Suite, or OneDrive, or save to an external device.
  • Be on alert for any unusual emails, texts, or phone calls, especially from new or unknown individuals.
    • Follow the guidelines for protecting yourself from phishing on the Information Security website.
    • You can also report phishing from the “Report Phish” button in Outlook.
  • Protect your University CNetID account.
    • Use VPN when connecting to campus resources from off campus. View instructions for how to connect to VPN.
    • Use a strong password or passphrase for all accounts and do not reuse passwords on multiple accounts.
    • The University of Chicago requires two-factor authentication (2FA) for most systems. Consider enabling 2FA for all online services you use.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi (e.g., Wi-Fi in a hotel or coffee shop).
    • When traveling, connect to the eduroam wireless network whenever available. 
    • If you must connect to public Wi-Fi, ensure you use the University’s VPN to connect to campus resources. (See instructions above.)
    • More information about Wi-Fi security is available on the Information Security website.
  • Contact the Information Security team in cases of suspicious activity.
    • If you observe suspicious activity online, immediately contact the Information Security team at or 773.702.2378.
    • If you see something, say something. It is important to quickly investigate any unusual computer activity, especially related to high-risk systems, data, or individuals.   

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact Information Security at or 773.702.2378.

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