The need for quick action
On a day to day basis, we all manage private information of some kind, the information that has been created by or entrusted to the University, personal information about ourselves and personal information about others. Malicious individuals are continually looking for opportunities to collect and sell personal identifying information (PII) for profit, to tamper with or to destroy information as a social or political statement, or to attack other systems. The PII that arouses the greatest interest includes but is certainly not limited to social security numbers, passport numbers, drivers’ license numbers and other legally identifying numbers, and bank and credit account numbers. Such data elements are key facilitators of identity theft, one of the fastest growing crimes resulting in their victims’ bank accounts being raided and their financial reputations being ruined.
Computer systems can also be the source of scams, harassing messages and posts that can cause great personal harm.
No matter how much technological protection that we install to safeguard our information and systems, there is no piece of technology that can in and of itself counter all the activities that can be performed by malicious individuals. The effectiveness of security-related tools is highly dependent upon the diligence of everyone in our community. The commonly heard phrase: “See something, say something” has as much merit in the technology world as it does in the physical world, and engaging the right resources as quickly as possible could be the difference between modest and devastating damage.
There may be occasions when you suspect that the University's information and/or systems have been or are being compromised or misused. Or it may be your own information and systems. Or you may be the target of harassing communications via e-mail, text or posts. Or you may fall prey to phishing or become a victim of identity theft. Or your computer or mobile device may have been lost or stolen.
To help mitigate the risk to our University and to you, the Information Security Office offers this section of the web site to provide you with information concerning how to effectively respond to institutional and personal situations such as those highlighted above. As mentioned earlier, your prompt action can limit the damage to those affected by the incident and to our University.
If you encounter any of the above situations, review this section for guidance in the matter. If you need additional information, please contact the Information Security Office through the UCT Support Center at extension 2828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.