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Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Checking for Dangerous Links and Downloads

Learn what malware is and how to email and browse with confidence.
Category:Cybersecurity Awareness Month
October 23, 2017

For Faculty and Staff

Monday, October 23, 2017

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Checking for Dangerous Links and Downloads

To: All faculty and staff

Even though Ryerson blocks emails with links to malicious downloads and up to 500 harmful attachments every day, some slip through our filters. Attachments and downloads can contain malware, whether they come in emails, from websites or from peer-to-peer networks.

What is malware?

Malware refers to malicious software like viruses, spyware and ransomware, for instance. Once you give malware access to your computer, it can do anything from capture your keystrokes, infiltrate other computers on networks you’re connected to or hold your files hostage for a ransom payment.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Similar to phishing attempts, malware often seeks to steal your personal or financial information or gain access to your accounts, looking for opportunities for financial gain. In some cases, your computer could end up under someone else's remote control.

On a larger scale, ransomware attacks like the ones at the University of Calgary, external link and Carleton University, external link can be extremely disruptive.

Email and browse with confidence

The most common way malware takes hold of your computer is when you open files. Here are some ways you can email and browse with confidence:

  • As a general rule, avoid downloading or installing programs and files from unknown sources.
  • Be cautious when something seems too good to be true, such as a large prize for clicking a link or a free offer for software that’s typically expensive.
  • Use anti-malware and antivirus software, and allow them to run automatic updates so you can stay safe with the latest security patches.

Learn more about being vigilant with downloads.

Last chance to throw your hat in the ring

There’s still time to participate in Cybersecurity Awareness Month contests for a chance to win:

  • A 10.5 inch Apple iPad Pro when you turn on two-factor authentication for all applications by October 31.
  • 5 prizes of $200 gift cards for reporting three of Ryerson’s fake phishing emails and not opening the suspicious links or attachments in more than three of these emails.

Find more contest details!

Questions?

Visit the Cybersecurity Awareness Month campaign page for more on building your online self-defence and for chances to win prizes.

If you have further questions, please contact the Computing and Communications Services Help Desk at help@ryerson.ca or 416-979-5300, ext. 556806.

For Students

Monday, October 23, 2017

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Checking for Dangerous Links and Downloads

To: All students

Even though Ryerson blocks emails with links to malicious downloads and up to 500 harmful attachments every day, some slip through our filters. Attachments and downloads can contain malware, whether they come in emails, from websites or from peer-to-peer networks.

What is malware?

Malware refers to malicious software like viruses, spyware and ransomware, for instance. Once you give malware access to your computer, it can do anything from capture your keystrokes, infiltrate other computers on networks you’re connected to or hold your files hostage for a ransom payment.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Similar to phishing attempts, malware often seeks to steal your personal or financial information or gain access to your accounts, looking for opportunities for financial gain. In some cases, your computer could end up under someone else's remote control.

On a larger scale, ransomware attacks like the ones at the University of Calgary, external link and Carleton University, external link can be extremely disruptive.

Email and browse with confidence

The most common way malware takes hold of your computer is when you open files. Here are some ways you can email and browse with confidence:

  • As a general rule, avoid downloading or installing programs and files from unknown sources.
  • Be cautious when something seems too good to be true, such as a large prize for clicking a link or a free offer for software that’s typically expensive.
  • Use anti-malware and antivirus software, and allow them to run automatic updates so you can stay safe with the latest security patches.

Learn more about being vigilant with downloads.

Last chance to throw your hat in the ring

There’s still time to participate in Cybersecurity Awareness Month contests for a chance to win:

  • A 10.5 inch Apple iPad Pro when you turn on two-factor authentication for all applications by October 31.
  • 5 prizes of $200 gift cards for reporting three of Ryerson’s fake phishing emails and not opening the suspicious links or attachments in more than three of these emails.

Find more contest details!

Questions?

Visit the Cybersecurity Awareness Month campaign page for more on building your online self-defence and for chances to win prizes.

If you have further questions, please contact the Computing and Communications Services Help Desk at help@ryerson.ca or 416-979-5300, ext. 556840.