Cyber Security Awareness

cyber-security-campaign.jpg With the heightened focus on cyber security incidents around the world, the College is more committed than ever to ensuring that cyber security is top priority for the Centennial College community.

Cyber security awareness is about fostering security consciousness in our digital existence. This site is aimed at providing resources that you can use and simple steps you can take to protect yourself online. 

Practicing safe online habits is a shared responsibility we all have a part of, whether at home, in the workplace, or in our communities. Do your part and be Cyber Security smart!

This year's topics are in relation to learning and working remotely.  Each week of October there will be a new topic presented in an inforgraphic format.  Below are the names of the topics:

  • Week 1 - October 5-9:  Phishing
  • Week 2 - October 12-16:  Multi-Factor Authentication
  • Week 3 - October 19-23:  Home Networks
  • Week 4 - October 26-30:  Smart Devices


Infographic of a cartoon fish providing tips on avoiding getting phishing

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What is Phishing?

Phishing is a fraudulent attempt designed to obtain money, information or something else of value. It’s called “phishing” because the process uses these messages to “bait and hook” their targets.

Tips for how to avoid getting “hooked”

  • Too Good To Be True
    • Phishers will offer you amazing deals or quick money to get you to make a careless choice. Ask yourself: Is this too good to be true
  • Think Before You Click
    • Before clicking on a link, verify the destination URL by hovering over the link. If the URL doesn’t look right, or match your intended website don’t click!
  • Slow and steady
    • A sense of urgency or pressure is a classic phishing trick. Take the time to stop and think about what is being asked of you.
  • Phish Fight!
    • Play hard to get! Don’t download anything you suspect might be dangerous, and don’t send a questionable contact the information they ask for.
  • Phishy Situation
    • Phishers want to get their “hooks” into you as fast as possible. If someone is too eager to be friends or offers you a great opportunity unexpectedly, it could be a “phishy” situation.
  • Plenty of Phish in the Sea
    • Different bait, same hook! Phishing attacks can come through email, phone calls and text messages. Be vigilant and follow these tips to avoid getting “lured” in.
  • Sharing Isn’t Caring
    • Do not forward spam or suspicious emails to friends, family or colleagues! Centennial makes it easy to report phishing you receive at work. Just remember: When in doubt, throw it out!

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

A picture of a sticking figure in front of a global icon outlining what MFA is.

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Don't Fall Prey; Use MFA!

What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

A cyber security practice that requires the use of more than one authentication method (factor) to verify a user’s identity. There are 3 types of factors:

  1. Something You Know
    1. Password, passphrase, pin, and more
  2. Something You Are
    1. Biometrics:  fingerprint, retina, voice, face, and more
  3. Something You Have
    1. Mobile phone, access card, digital token, and more

Why Use MFA?

Creates a layered defense that makes it more difficult for a person/entity to access data for which they are not authorized.

Two Locks are Better than One!

Having two or more authentication steps makes it harder for attackers to breach an account. If an app, device and/or service offers MFA, enable it!

Password Best Practices

  • Use numbers, letters, & special characters to create long & complex passwords.
  • Have a different password for each account, & never reuse old passwords.
  • Never reveal/share your password with anyone & don’t record your passwords where they can be seen/found. Consider using a reputable password manager.

Home Networks

infrographics about home network security

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Mitigate the Threat, Secure Your Internet!

Our homes are filled with internet-connected devices. These “smart devices” can make our lives easier, but they are also loaded with our data and information that hackers want to access. Any internet-connected device is a potential target for hackers. So what can be done to reduce the threat of a hacker accessing our digital lives?

Below are some tips and best practices.

  • If supported, always set a password, PIN code, etc. on a device. Consider disabling any features on a device you are not actively using. Reenable a service as required/when in use.
  • Perform regular backups to secure removable media or cloud services so you can quickly recover from any equipment failure, malware Infection, or other attack.
  • Use and regularly update anti-virus software on you computers, laptops tablets, and phones.
  • Make sure your Wi-Fi router has a strong password. Consider setting up a separate network & password for guests to use.
  • Always change the default passwords on smart devices. Default passwords are often widely known and can leave your device open to misuse.
  • Threats arise and evolve quickly. Keeping your devices up-to-date by installing system and software updates when available is critical. If available, enable auto-update on your device.

Home Networks

Infropgraphic of a smart device with cybyer security advice.

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Secure Your Device So You Don't Pay the Price!

Almost all electronic devices today are smart devices with internet connectivity. Protecting your device – and by extension your data – is critical, regardless of whether it relies on Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS, Linux or another OS

Here are some tips and best practices for securing and safeguarding your devices:

  • Updates
    • Both your device’s operating system (OS) and the individual applications on your device should be updated periodically, especially if your device advises you an update/patch is available.
  • Lock Your Device
    • The first and easiest line of defense is to protect your device from unauthorized access.  A long password is optimal, however, a PIN, or biometric options (fingerprint, face, voice) are also feasible.
  • Encrypt Your Device’s Hard Drive(s)
    • If the ability to encrypt your device’s hard drive(s) is available, USE IT! Even if your device is disassembled, no one will be able to access the data on the hard drive without a password.
  • Backup. Backup. Backup!
    • No security measure is 100% effective. Always ensure you backup your data to a location outside of your device that you trust. Possible options include:  reputable cloud storage, removable USB hard drive, or even a physical printout.

Want to learn more?