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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)

October 5, 2012

Dear Students,

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.  Computing Services Information Security Office (ISO) takes this opportunity to remind you to protect your data when using cloud services like Google Docs, Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft cloud services.

  1. Use a strong and unique password/passphrase when setting up a cloud services account. Follow the ISO's Guidelines for Password Management for recommended practices for safeguarding your password/passphrase.  Consider using two-factor authentication if the cloud provider offers it, e.g., Google's 2-step verification.

  2. Use caution when storing sensitive data in the cloud. Know how your data is being protected via encryption and other controls and learn how to use available security features effectively.  Consider keeping a copy of your data in another secure location as an independent back-up.

  3. Read the End User License Agreement before you click. Thoroughly consider security, privacy, content ownership, and other legal issues along with your assigned responsibilities before making an informed final decision.

Continue to follow the ISO's Cyber Security Pledge and think  before you click on attachments in email, instant messages, and web sites.  Be on the look-out for email scams and never respond to an email with your login id and password. As always, adhere to Copyright & Intellectual Property Laws. Noncompliance with the copyright & intellectual property law can result in disciplinary action and loss of network connectivity. There are legal alternatives for acquiring copyrighted content. For more information, visit: 

For additional information on safe computing tips, please visit

The ISO encourages you to check out all of our NCSAM resources by visiting

Best wishes for a great fall semester.


Mary Ann Blair
Director of Information Security
Information Security Office
Computing Services
Carnegie Mellon University