Almost every Auburn student has seen one of the banner ads on the side of Tiger Transits or above their AUAccess login and acknowledged it was there without giving it a second thought.
As it turns out, the signs stating “Keep it Safe” are there to be more than just something to look at on your way to campus.
Every October, Auburn’s office of information technology, or OIT, creates a campaign that promotes cybersecurity and urges students to keep their online data safe.
Each year’s campaign has a different theme, and this year OIT Web and Mobile Development Manager Seth Humphrey and his team decided to catch attention by leaning into popular culture and challenging students to “Be a Cybersecurity Superhero.”
“’Justice League’ is coming up, all of those super hero films are still pretty popular and everyone loves Aubie” Humphrey said. “Let’s stick Aubie in some of these costumes to capture students’ attention and hopefully, along the way, help them absorb the information to make their data safer.”
The campaign ads around campus sport Humphrey’s own designs of Aubie dressed up in similar outfits to ‘DC’ superheroes Superman, Batman, Cyborg and The Flash.
“We have cleverly hidden the logos of the actual superheroes,” Humphrey said. “Wanted to keep the designs Fair Use.”
The four Aubie designs are each paired with cybersecurity tips that remind students to ‘protect your identity,’ ‘guard your weaknesses,’ ‘backup your data’ and ‘keep your devices updated.’ Humphrey said that these are the pillars of online security, so wording them simply in the campaign was vital to getting the message across.
“We’re really pushing these four topics, they are the ones we really want to get in front of people,” Humphrey said. “If you shove too much information out there it’s hard to consume it.”
Along with the ads, OIT will be on the concourse October 10 to pass out T-shirts, offer a superhero themed photo-booth and answer any IT questions students may have about their computer or mobile device.
OIT has also set up a website, ‘keepitsafe.auburn.edu’ that elaborates on the tips presented in the ads and displays previous years’ campaigns.
“It’s quick,” Humphrey said. “We didn’t make the site too deep, so hopefully you can take some tips home and be safer because of it”
Chief Information Security Officer of the University William Miaoulis touched on each of the cybersecurity tips and explained how protecting your identity and being able to identify predatory links are the most important parts of keeping yourself safe online.
“The main thing is when we talk about protecting your identity and learning the signs of phishing,” Miaoulis said. “There are a lot of schemes that target students for jobs and if a job seems too good to be true or they ask you for money, you really need to check them out.”
He said another major component the other tip to really pay attention to is backing up data.
“You can always rebuild a computer,” Miaoulis said. “It’s the files, it’s your intellectual property, it’s your research papers, it’s whatever is on your computer that is important to you, your pictures especially.”
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