This website was set up to help you guard against security incidents. But what constitutes an incident? What do you see as user, what do you need to be aware of? This section of the website explains what security incidents are and how you can recognize them. You will also find information on actions to take to reduce the consequences of an incident and when to report an incident.
The following signs indicate that an incident has occurred, and as a result that your device has become infected:
- your device is suddenly very slow;
- there are strange notifications;
- you see a lot op pop-ups when surfing;
- your device has files you have never seen before;
- you have lost files, your hard disc has been partially or completely wiped;
- your home page has changed;
- your browser has a new toolbar you did not request;
- friends and colleagues warn you that they are receiving strange emails from you;
- your virus scanner no longer updates or gives obscure error messages.
If one or more of the above signs occur, chances are that your device has become infected as a result of a security incident. Many infections are caused by phishing. If you are able to recognize a phishing attempt, you can avoid many problems yourself.
Phishing is a form of fraud on the internet. You can recognize phishing emails by the following tricks:
- you are asked to provide personal details;
- the message has attachments. Never open files with the extensions .zip, .exe, .js, .Ink, .scr, .jar. Even .docx and .xlsx files can be damaging;
- the salutation is impersonal, i.e. ‘Dear Customer,’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam,’
- the sender is unclear, e.g. from a strange or abnormal email address.
- the email is full of language and/or grammatical errors;
- the message is sent without any reason and comes unexpectedly;
- the email contains a link to a malicious website. Always check the link before clicking on it (by scrolling over it with your mouse or using a right-mouse click). You will often notice an unusual URL.
In addition to these signs, always use common sense when you receive an email. Scammers are becoming increasingly cunning and their emails are starting to resemble legitimate emails.
How to protect yourself
Criminals not only use email to infect your computer and/or obtain your data, they also attempt to do so by phone or in person. In this way, these scammers try to get you to visit fraudulent websites, install malicious software or obtain login credentials. You can recognize a phishing attempt by phone for example by the foreign phone number or the poor English spoken. Phishing attempts in person can be made in various cunning ways, for example someone posing as a university staff member or student and requesting confidential information from you using a pretext.