Cyber Security Awareness

Cyber Security Awareness

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, sponsored by the United States Department of Homeland Security. Each week we will be focusing on a different security topic and providing tips and resources that you can use to help keep your computing experience at Pitt safe and secure. So be sure to check back each week!

We also have a great lineup of events planned this month, including our Cyber Security Symposium on Tuesday, October 25, our fourth annual Cyber Security Scarehouse on Halloween, and several multifactor authentication "quick start" sessions that will help you protect your privacy. Details will be updated regularly below. We hope to see you there!



Cyber Security Symposium: October 25

Join us forSymposium our third annual Cyber Security Symposium on Tuesday, October 25 in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event is free and open to all University students, faculty, and staff. A light lunch will be provided.

11:30 – noon

  • Food and Refreshments

Noon – 1:00 p.m

  • Keynote Address: “The Most Important Defense Against Cyber Attacks? You.”  

Rohyt Belani, a cyber security industry veteran and former adjunct faculty at Carnegie Mellon, will walk through the details of a real-world cyber attack. He will then discuss how the world is starting to think differently when it comes to cyber-defense and how those strategies now place YOU front and center to defend against attacks.

Cyber Security Scarehouse for Students: October 31

Our Save the DateCyber Security Scarehouse for students offers an opportunity to learn essential security tips and tools while having a scary good time. This year's Scarehouse takes place on Halloween (Monday, October 31) from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room and Ballroom.

Stop by for free T-shirts and other great giveaways. We'll also have delicious refreshments and some spooky guests, including an airbrush tattoo artist and a stilt walker. Students who attend the event will receive OCC credit and can enter a raffle to win a Surface Pro 4.

Planning to drop by? Let us know on our Facebook page and invite a friend to brave the Scarehouse with you. Follow #PittCSSD for all the gory details.

If you are brave enough to make it all the way through our Scarehouse, you will be better prepared to ward off some of the really scary stuff that we see every day: viruses, hackers, phishing scammers, laptop thieves, and more.

2015 Scarehouse

Multifactor Authentication Quick Start Sessions

MFAYou can protect your privacy and enhance the security of your data by enabling multifactor authentication for University services.

Multifactor authentication adds another layer of protection to Pitt Passport by requiring two “factors” to log in to a service: something you know (like your password) and something only you have (like your mobile phone).

Multifactor authentication ensures your password alone cannot be used to access confidential information, such as grades, tuition payments, retirement account details, pay statements, or direct deposit information.

Need a hand getting started with multifactor authentication? Drop by one of our "MFA Quick Start" sessions and we'll help get you up and running! You can stop by any time during the session.  

  • Thursday, October 13: G27 Cathedral of Learning computing lab classroom, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 18: 314 Bellefield Hall computing lab classroom, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Friday, October 21: G27 Cathedral of Learning computing lab, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Weekly Security Topics

Weekly Security Topics

Week 1: Passwords



Week 2: Phishing Awareness



Week 3: Spotting Scams



Week 4: Device Protection

Device protection


Security Tips of the Day

Security Tips of the Day

  • Monday, Oct. 3: October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Visit for tips, resources, and upcoming events.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 4: Create a strong password that combines letters, numbers, and special characters. Learn more at
  • Wednesday, Oct. 5: When logging in to the University’s Single Sign-On page, Pitt Passport, make sure the URL begins with
  • Thursday, Oct. 6: Change your password regularly and do not use the same password across multiple Web sites.
  • Friday, Oct. 7: Add a layer of protection to your password by enabling multifactor authentication for University services:
  • Monday, Oct. 10: Phishing scams use fake emails or Web sites to attempt to trick you into divulging personal information. Don’t take the bait.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 11: Remember: no legitimate organization will ever ask you to divulge your password by email, over the phone, or via an unfamiliar Web site.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 12: To report a phishing scam, forward the phishing email as an attachment to
  • Thursday, Oct. 13:  Phishing scams often create a sense of urgency and invoke emotions like fear or greed to persuade you to provide sensitive information
  • Friday, Oct. 14: Be suspicious of emails that request personal information, contain spelling errors, or claim your account will be reset.
  • Monday, Oct. 17: You can keep tabs on recent scams (phishing and otherwise) on our Alerts & Notifications page.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18: A common tech support scam starts with a pop-up on your computer asking you to call a number to fix your computer. Don't take the bait!
  • Wednesday, Oct. 19: A new phone scam by a tuition payment processor claims that paying through them will save students 5% on their tuition. Don't fall for it!
  • Thursday, Oct. 20: A phone call that claims to be from the FBI or IRS that says you owe money is probably a scam. Don't take the bait!
  • Friday, Oct. 21: Your Federal Student Aid ID (FSAID) is used to sign documents electronically. Be suspicious of any phone call or email asking for it.
  • Monday, Oct. 24: Download Malwarebytes ( and use it in tandem with Symantec Endpoint Protection to guard against harmful software. 
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25: USB drives and other external devices can be infected by viruses. Do not accept USB drives unless they come from a known, trusted source.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 26: Security flaws in the software you use can allow hackers to attack your computer or steal data. Keep your operating system & apps updated.
  • Thursday, Oct. 27: Install Computrace LoJack to help trace and recover your laptop if it is ever lost or stolen.
  • Friday, Oct. 28: Lock your smartphone. Use the passcode feature on your smartphone or tablet and set up the phone to lock after 5 minutes of inactivity. 
  • Monday, Oct. 31:  Don’t hack your phone. Your reason for jailbreaking or rooting it (increased access to modifications) is also why it is no longer secure.

Learn More

Learn More

Previous Cyber Security Awareness Videos

Stop. Think. Connect.

Tags: Cyber Security Awareness Month Security Phishing Anti-Virus