IT and study places

Be aware, stay safe online

One of our most important responsibilities is keeping Tilburg University’s data safe and secure. We implement and maintain measures to effectively address potential weaknesses and breaches in our systems. Tilburg University believes that information security is everyone’s responsibility and students, faculty and staff needs to be aware of their role in preventing and reducing cyber threats.

The goal of Tilburg University Awareness Week is to increase awareness about cyber security issues. By being aware of what you share online you can already protect yourself. During this week you will be informed about privacy and security, what threats you might face and how you can protect your personal data with a few simple actions.

The Awareness Week takes place on the following dates in 2019:

  • January 28 - February 2
  • May 6 - 10
  • October (an exact date will be published soon)

On this page you will find tips for working online safely.

On-campus IT security tips

Never react to phishing e-mails asking for usernames and passwords.

Tilburg University will never e-mail you to request such information.

More information? Watch the video!

Create strong passwords and change them regularly.

You can do this via Selfservice university account.

Lock your computer if you leave it, even for a moment.

Via Ctrl + Alt + Delete and choose the option lock this computer.

Report suspicious cyber activity to our university’s CERT team.

The CERT team (Computer Emergency Response Team) contributes to IT security on campus. The CERT website contains tips, answers to frequently asked questions, and much more information on IT security.

Stick to the rules for computer use.

Tilburg University has equipped their students with a personal account. By using the facilities made available by Tilburg University, users must adhere to the following four rules explicitly:

In principal there are four kinds of activities that are strictly forbidden:

  1. Giving details of your user name and password(s) to third parties. The original owner remains responsible at all times for any activity on the network in his/her name.
  2. Sending messages anonymously
  3. Performing activities on the network, that would seriously interfere with the use of that same network by others.
  4. Providing information on the network that is forbidden by the law.

Only when all users adhere to these rules and use the network in a responsible manner, is possible to safeguard the network for the entire university community.

IT security at home or en route

Install anti-virus software

Use anti-virus software to protect your computer, tablet, and smartphone and enable automatic updates. In addition, let the anti-virus software frequently scan your devices for infection, for instance, once a month. Always enable the firewall, if provided, so that the connections between the device and the internet can be monitored.

Install software updates

Producers of operating systems, browsers, and other programs like Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, and Oracle Java, regularly provide updates to remedy security flaws. Malicious parties can exploit these security vulnerabilities to gain access to your computer, so keep your software up-to-date and enable future automatic updates wherever possible. In other cases, check at least once a month whether updates are available and install them.

Create strong passwords and change them frequently

It is important to use passwords that people cannot easily guess for computers, smartphones, websites, and online services, especially for such crucial systems as DigiD or your own WiFi network. Do not use the same password everywhere, regularly change passwords (e.g., every year), do not share them with others by responding to phishing e-mails, and do not save them in the internet browser of in a non-encrypted file on your computer.

Wherever possible, use two-factor authentication. It is a safer login method because a second or third authentication is required, for example, a question to which only the user knows the answer, or an authentication code via a text message.

More information? Watch the video!

Only make connections with trusted WiFi networks

If you use a public and non-secure WiFi network, others can potentially see what you are doing on the internet and what data you are sending. Therefore, do not send sensitive data (e-mail, online banking information) over networks that you are not familiar with or do not trust.

More information? Watch the videos!

Do not open messages and files that you do not trust

Have you received an unexpected message with an attachment, (shortened) hyperlink, or request to log on to a system? Use your common sense and ignore it, even if you know the sender. Only accept a message if you expected to receive it from a particular sender. Remove spam immediately.

More information? Watch the videos!

Only install apps from official app stores

Apps for smartphones or tablets can also contain malware. Therefore, only install apps through the official app stores and do not use illegal copies. Check carefully what data the app wants to access. Check out experiences of other users to get an impression of the reliability of the app.

More information? Watch the videos!

Check the URLs of websites

Check the web address (URL) and the certificate (the little padlock in the browser’s address bar) to determine that you are not visiting a fake or unsafe website. If there is no padlock, do not fill out any sensitive data on this website. Use bookmarks (favorites) for websites that you visit frequently and pay extra attention when opening shortened URLs which are often used on social networks to minimize the number of characters.

More information? Watch the video!

Close pop-ups in your browser with Alt+F4

Never click Agree, OK, the ‘X’ or no to close a pop-up: you may unintentionally end up installing malware. A pop-up is best closed with ‘Alt+F4’. You can also install a pop-up filter to block pop-ups.

Who do you want to share information with on the internet?

It is very easy to place something on the internet, but it is very difficult to remove it again. So consider carefully what you want to share on the internet and with whom. Protect your social network sites well and be selective in who gets access to your profile and data. If you provide your data online, check who stores them, how long data will be stored, and to what third parties the data will be disclosed. Do not volunteer any more personal data than you think is necessary.

More information? Watch the videos!

Use caution

If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Be on the alert if you encounter suspicious cyber activity.

More information? Watch the video! (Only available in Dutch)

How alert are you? Play the game