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Employees urged to be vigilant during Cyber Security Awareness Month

The recent news story about vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's e-mail being hacked should serve as a reminder not only that campaign season is in full swing, but that everyone needs to be vigilant when it comes to data security.

Julie Fugett, systems analyst with Information Services, her colleagues and the KU Privacy Office, say October, Cyber Security Awareness Month, is a perfect time for KU employees to be aware the importance of information security.

"Privacy and security go hand in hand," said Jane Rosenthal, privacy coordinator. "By taking sound measures to increase cyber security, everyone can help protect the privacy of the information we work with here at KU."

IS is hosting a series of events with various campus units about data handling and encryption, and is offering the sessions to any department that would like to host such a presentation. The office is also hosting a pair of workshops on best practices/ security awareness and computer system hardening. The former is taking place at 3 p.m. Oct. 8 and the latter will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 24. Both will be in the Budig Instruction Lab and are open to all faculty and staff. The staff is available to make the presentations throughout the year.

Naturally, IT has taken the security topic to the Web. A wealth of online resources exists to help users be secure. Fugett writes a blog,, posts articles on security at and started the Be Sekure Facebook group. Fugett said the sites offer easy to understand information for all computer users, and give tips on security that don't take a tech professional to implement. There are also security tips at and KU's information management policy is online at infomanagement. Information policies are also available at

IT Security can also answer information safety questions. Questions can be directed to or 864-9003.

Fugett said that information security may sound daunting, but everyone can easily make a difference.

"It's not necessary to have a ton of super technical knowledge to be secure. The best advice I can give people is to be skeptical and don't be afraid to ask questions."

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