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man looking proud at his ability to protect his computer data

Increasing dependence on digital devices and the internet to perform daily tasks like work, banking, shopping, and pandemic social contact, makes cybersecurity ever more important, and taking measures to protect personal and work data on a regular basis decreases that vulnerability.

“People are really our best line of defence when it comes to preventing cyber-attacks. Being a human firewall will safeguard you and the University community,” says Kevin Macnaughton, team lead security in Information Technology Services. “If individuals keep vigilant, it bolsters the technical measures our security team employs.”

This past month’s campaign is focused on cybersecurity best practices around:

  • Working from home and campus
  • Spotting phishing attempts
  • Caring for your computer
  • Securing mobile devices

Test your instincts to review the content shared throughout the month.

Cybersecurity awareness continues well beyond the month of October. Visit web pages dedicated to the subject.

To highlight the global cybersecurity efforts, have a look at the United States’ campaign page and the topics they covered each week.

Led by IT Services, Cybersecurity Awareness Month efforts highlight cybersecurity issues relevant to the UWindsor community. More information is available at

man working on smart phone

Over 88 per cent of Canadians access the internet with a mobile device, according to Statista, a leading market and consumer data provider. With the ever-increasing dependence on portable devices to do tasks such as online banking or accessing work files, valuable information is being put at risk of cybersecurity threats.

“Smart cybersecurity practices are just as important for your phone and tablet as they are for your computer,” says Kevin Macnaughton, team leader security in Information Technology Services. “While it may only be for personal or recreational use, it should still be protected.”

IT Services’ list of top five ways to protect your mobile devices includes:

  1. Enable the security Personal Identification Number (PIN) to unlock your phone and keep it private.
  2. Set the device to auto-lock when inactive.
  3. Allow automatic updates for the operating system and apps.
  4. Only use the App Store and iTunes or Google Play for apps, games, and media.
  5. Use the University’s GlobalProtect VPN when accessing public or free Wi-Fi.

For more mobile device security best practices, see the webpage.

To highlight the global cybersecurity efforts, have a look at the European Cybersecurity Month campaign.

Led by IT Services, Cybersecurity Awareness Month efforts highlight cybersecurity issues relevant to the UWindsor community. More information can be found at

Friends and colleagues of Dean Roy, a UWindsor employee of more than 35 years who died Oct. 17 at the age of 58, remember him for his contributions to campus operations in his paid and volunteer work.

He joined the University’s staff in 1986 as a programmer in the University Computer Centre, receiving promotions in 1989 to systems programmer, in 1996 to senior systems programmer, and in 2003 to systems programmer specialist in Information Technology Services.

“Dean played a key role in setting up and maintaining computer systems that powered many of the enterprise applications and databases on campus, including the student information systems, payroll, and finance,” says Stephen Karamatos, manager of technology and innovation. “He was a diligent staff member and contributed his talents and rich experience during the waves of technological changes. He will sadly be missed by his colleagues.”

Roy was also active in Local 1393 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, including serving as its president from 2011 to 2017.

Campus flags will be lowered in his memory on Friday, Oct. 22. His family has set up a scholarship fund and welcome memorial donations; click here to make a gift online.

Funeral services are planned for Saturday, Oct. 23. Find details in his obituary online.

man cowering behind computer screen

Your most important work tool is your computer or laptop, notes Kevin Macnaughton, team lead security, Information Technology Services, so cybersecurity should be an important part of your care routine.

Macnaughton calls it essential to ensure your device is running optimally with the latest updates and kept secure to protect your work.

“Basic computer care and hygiene should not be overlooked,” he says. “Follow daily or weekly restart practices and enable updates to keep your devices working and secure.”

Top systems care basics include:

  • Closing work applications and browsers at the end of the day
  • Shutting down and starting your computer weekly
  • Enabling automatic updates for your operating system
  • Activating and maintaining up to date antivirus and firewall software

To keep your applications up to date and secure, IT Services recommends:

For more computer care basics as well as ways to supercharge your workstation see

To highlight the global cybersecurity efforts, consult New Zealand’s campaign “Cyber up with CERT NZ.”

Led by IT Services, Cybersecurity Awareness Month efforts highlight cybersecurity issues relevant to the UWindsor community. More information can be found at





Cybersecurity Awareness month brings attention to scams

More than a quarter (26%) of Canadians responded that they have been a victim of an email phishing scam, according to a survey prepared for the federal government. 

Phishing scams can take several forms from emailing, texting, calling, or leaving a voicemail but all are trying to fool a victim to get their personal or corporate information. Hackers will use it to gain access to online accounts and more for fraudulent purposes. 

When you receive an unexpected call or email asking for personal or company information, you should think critically about the request,” says Kevin Macnaughton, team leader security in IT Services. “While the person may appear to be helpful or in need, often they’re trying to manipulate you and falling for it can cause significant monetary loss to you and the University.” 

IT Services’ top five tips for spotting, and ultimately avoiding phishing are: 

  1. Consider the request in detail.  
  • Is it an unusual or unexpected ask from the sender?  
  • Is there an odd sense of urgency? 
  • Does it ask you to open an attachment you were not expecting?  
  • Does the message ask you to log in or supply personal information to a website? 
  1. Examine the sender’s name and email address carefully. Does is come from a public email like “” or another free email service when it should be coming from a business or corporation. 
  1. Review the message.  Does it have spelling errors, bad grammar, odd formatting, or missing signature?  
  1. Check any links in the message.  
  • When you hover over them, are the web addresses suspicious?  
  • Do any of the characters appear to be lookalikes instead of the correct letters? 
  1. For call scams, beware of a request to access your computer. Do they want to connect with you via remote desktop or ask that you share your log-in information to an online account? 

If you answer YES to any of the questions above, do not react to the message. Instead, if you think the message may be legitimate, contact the sender through a different communication channel to verify it. Otherwise, report the message or call to or contact the IT Service Desk at 519-253-3000 ext. 4440.  

Find examples of phishing messages on the Cybersecurity Awareness website. 

To showcase the global cybersecurity efforts, we are sharing the Irish campaign, "Stop.Think.Connect.” 

Led by IT Services, Cybersecurity Awareness Month efforts highlight cybersecurity issues relevant to the UWindsor community. More information can be found at