Stay safe online by following the top five cyber-security tips:

1. Passwords: Protect the Keys to the Kingdom
  • Create Strong Passwords by using at least seven characters, and include numbers and symbols.
  • Do not use personal information, your username, or adjacent keys.
  • Do not reuse passwords for multiple accounts. Security for all would be affected if a password were compromised.
  • Change your passwords regularly. A good rule of thumb is to change your passwords every three months.
  • Do not share your password. Always confirm the identity of the person who requests your personal information if you did not initiate contact. Never share your password with anyone.
2. E-mail: Be Wary of Unsolicited Requests
  • Do not click on links in e-mails that ask for personal information. Never access an online account by clicking on a link in an unsolicited e-mail. Instead, open a new browser window and type in the correct URL.
  • Beware of “ phishy” e-mails, bogus e-mails sent in an attempt to fish for personal data by asking recipients to click on a link or respond with information about an account. Forward such e-mails to or visit the Security Office’s website at to find out about current threats.
3. Computer Viruses: Ounce of Protection Worth Pound of Cure
  • Install and update anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer. Some viruses destroy files, while others may only subtly affect computer operations. Visit the Security Office’s website at to download the latest anti-virus software.
4. Social Security Number: Why Do You Ask?
  • Ask how your Social Security number will be used and how it will be protected before you share it. For security, Duke has strictly limited the use of Social Security numbers internally for identification purposes. Your Social Security number can provide an identity thief with instant access to your financial accounts, credit record, and other personal assets.
5. Data Access: Permission Only, Please
  • Logout or lock your workstation when away from your computer so that a password is required to access again.
  • Use encryption software to store sensitive data if you need to save confidential data on a USB drive or other device.