Awareness Education


Approximately every 39 seconds, a cyber hack is attempted. As internet use for things such as online banking and shopping increase, so has the need for cybersecurity. To support this need and increase cybersecurity awareness, we are kicking off a yearlong "Stop. Think. Protect." campaign starting with October's National Cyber Security Awareness Month. 

Sam Houston State University's biggest cyberthreat is phishing, which is the process of sending fake emails to convince the recipient to provide their personal information, such as usernames and bank details. 

To help protect yourself and the university community from phishing attempts, use the below tips explaining how to use "Stop. Think. Protect." in action.


Use our new Phish Bowl site to verify if you have received a current SHSU phishing email. If you have received a suspicious email on your SHSU account and do not see it on the list, please report it immediately to

P.S. Don’t forget: SHSU will never ask you for personal information, such as your password.

For additional cybersecurity tips and IT updates, follow IT@Sam on facebook and Twitter @SHSUServiceDesk!

  1. Stop. Think. Protect.


        • Be wary of emails with hyperlinks or attachments from unusual senders
        • Look for common phrases such as "Your account will be closed if..." or "click this link to win...", these are signs of a phishing attempt.


    Reread the email and ask yourself a few important questions:

                      1. Is it asking for confidential information?
                      2. Is it trying to send you to an authentic website?
                      3. Does something seem unusual or sound too goo to be true?


      It is important to protect your private information, if you answered yes to any of the above - 
      mentioned questions, you can take the following steps to protect yourself:

                       1. Call the company to verify if they sent the email and report it if they didn’t.
                       2. Don’t click links or attachments from an unknown sender. This will keep you from being sent
                           to a malicious site.
                       3. Report the email as junk mail and block the sender.
                       4. For your SHSU email account, you can report any suspicious emails to

  2. Social Media Safety!
      “Officially married! Week long honeymoon here we come!” Location: IAH Airport, Houston, TX

                                          “Ugh work today was awful, anyone know of any good jobs available?”

      “No kids tonight and hubby is out of town, this momma is excited for alone time!”

                                                     “It’s my birthday! 28 is going to be a great year” Location: At home

      As shown above, social media is a convenient way to provide family and friends with updates on big life events, your location, vent about a bad day and show off your adorable kids.

      If things like your privacy settings and passwords aren’t set up correctly, you could be sharing this information with anyone from cybercriminals to potential employers.

      Luckily, you can use our “Stop. Think. Protect.” campaign to protect yourself, your family and your friends when using social media.


      1. Use privacy and security settings: This allows you to control your online experience by managing who is seeing your posts and personal information.

      2. Keep your personal information personal: Pay attention to how much and what type of personal information you are sharing online. Cybercriminals are able to use simple details such as birthdates and addresses to access data that helps them steal your identity or stalk you.

      3. Think twice before posting photos, sharing posts or venting online: Posting things deemed improper may cause future employers and opportunities to pass you by. Case in point, Kevin Hart stepped down as an Oscar host due to posts made in his past.
  3. Avoid Phishing. Don't Take the Bait!
    • Never give out your password. IT@Sam will never ask you for your password.
    • Double check the web address of any link before you click on it.
    • Inspect the from address. Some fake/malicious addresses can be very convincing.
    • Be wary of messages that sound too good to be true, or that have a sense of urgency about them.
    • Do not open attachments or click on links in communications that are unexpected.
  4. Stop Identity Theft
    • Use two-factor authentication on all sites that allow for it.
    • Use a password manager to help keep your passwords in order.
    • Use a strong and unique password for each of your online accounts.
    • Be mindful of what you post to social media.
    • Always contact credit card companies via the information on the back of the card instead of numbers or links provided in emails.
    • Never type your password into an unsecure website (look for the lock icon or for HTTPS at the beginning of the web address). If it is HTTP, then it is not secure!
  5. Keep Calm and Clean Your Tech Devices

    Be sure to:

    • Keep your OS and software up to date with vendor supplied patches.
    • Be sure your firewall is enabled.
    • Run anti-malware software.
    • Be wary of installing applications directly from the Internet.
    • Backup your important files regularly.