This winter break, use the following tips to ensure you remain secure online:

1. Check that you have set up Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) with the correct methods/information

Whist accessing your University account this winter break, you may need to use a secondary sign-in method to verify your identity, in the following scenarios:

  • You use a different device
  • You travel abroad
  • You get a new device

You can review and manage your security information within My Account portal. We recommend that you use the Microsoft Authenticator App as it is suitable for all scenarios. Also, adding a phone number will mean that you can still verify your identity if you later change your phone but retain your number.

Further guidance on making your account more secure with MFA is available on the University of Bath - Learning pathways website.

2. Install the latest software and app updates

Applying security updates promptly will help to protect your devices and accounts from cybercriminals. Updates include protection from viruses and other kinds of malware.

You can install the latest software and app updates on your personal devices from NCSC.GOV.UK.

3. Protect all of your passwords

Take special care of all your email passwords

If a criminal gets access to your email account, they could:

  • access private information about you (including your banking details)
  • post emails and messages pretending to be from you (and use this to trick other people)
  • reset all your other account passwords (and get access to all your other online accounts)

For this reason, you should create passwords that are strong enough and long enough by combining three random words.

Use a password manager

Many of us have multiple online accounts, so it's difficult to come up with different passwords for all of them (and remember them). Therefore we recommend that you use a password manager, a browser, or an app to safely store all of your passwords.

Visit NCSC.GOV.UK for advice on safely storing passwords.

4. Back up your data

Making a backup (copy) of important photos, documents, and other personal data stored on your IT equipment can save you a lot of stress in the event that anything were to happen to your computer account or equipment.

Once you have made a backup, if you lose access to your original data, you can restore a copy of it from the backup.

Find out how to back up your data from NCSC.GOV.UK.

5. Protect yourself from Phishing

At this time of year when we're shopping online more frequently, we need to be extra vigilant of seasonal scams, including fake shops, scam messages, and bogus adverts: