Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is International Cyber Security Awareness Month, and this year marks the 20th anniversary since its creation in 2004. We, at the University of Ottawa, are actively participating in this themed month to protect ourselves and our colleagues against cyberattacks by enhancing our cyber skills and knowledge.  
laptop and security icons

Halt the hack and stay cybersafe!

This year, we will focus on simple steps to detect and prevent online malicious activities not only to protect our privacy and identity, but also any personal or organizational data that may be stored on our device(s). All month long, we will be sharing practical information and resources to protect ourselves and the University. 

The volume of information and data that is shared online now that remote activities have become more prevalent is outstanding; from virtual meetings to banking to file sharing, etc.  Cyber criminals have become more sophisticated, and it’s become increasingly more difficult to distinguish fraudulent or malicious emails.  

For instance, this email screen capture highlights common suspicious elements that we should examine attentively.

Screen capture of a phishing email with highlighted suspicious elements
The unprofessional title, the makeshift top banner, the vague hyperlink, the missing signature and the repeated request in NB format are indicative of a scam.

NOTE: The University of Ottawa uses secured portals such as VirtuO and Workday to hire staff and professors, and uOZone to hire students. The recruitment and formal hiring processes would never be initiated by email. 

Security is everyone’s responsibility and cyberattacks can happen to anyone. Each week throughout the month of October, we will be sharing practical information and resources on our Instagram account extracted from the resources you'll find on this webpage. We will learn to prevent specific cyberattacks and prepare to address the situation if one was to occur.  Follow our social media posts and expand your cyber security skills with this page's material to stay cybersafe!  

Let’s level up our cyber security skills now!

Next steps

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with this material, keep yourself and others safe by sharing your takeaways from Cyber Security Awareness Month. To keep on top of your cyber security skills you can:   

  • Take the Digital self-defence training.  
  • Practice how to detect a phishing attack regularly. 
  • Let others know how to prevent phishing campaigns and spread the word by sharing our tips and resources.  
Cyber Security Ontario Poster

Want to strengthen your knowledge in cyber security even further?

Participate in Halt the Hack! campaign through October: take part in spy-themed virtual interactive games and videos in the Cyber Verse to earn tokens that will give you the chance to win exciting recognition rewards.
Register to play and discover Cyber Security Ontario Cyber Verse!