Are You Monitored?

No. The IT Security Team routinely monitors network traffic for attacks and other threats from the Internet as well as indications of compromised (hacked) computers on the network. Monitoring also provides assurance that the network is functioning properly. However, the Security Team does not monitor the content of network traffic (aka "snooping" or "wiretapping") to determine who is seeking or sharing what information, without a specific legal requirement to do so.

But don't be too reassured. Others on the internet undoubtedly do monitor network traffic content, legally or otherwise. Hackers are only too happy to monitor traffic content for your password, your bank account info, and your other valuable information. Email passwords sell for about $1 while bank passwords may go for $10 on the black market; SSNs are worth about $20.

Some information you might share on purpose but end up sharing to a wider audience than you intend or expect. Email that you send to one recipient can be forwarded to others without your knowledge. The entertainment file sharing program that you use to get the latest songs, videos and games will silently share your copy with others including the copyright watchdogs that try to stop that sharing. Photos and statements that you share with a privileged Facebook group or Google+ circle can be passed along to others. Free Social Media sites might sell your information or use it to target relevant marketing to you.

So, the answer to the question is really Yes, but not by the USU IT Security Team.

Protect Your Information by Protecting Your Computer & Devices

You can protect your information by protecting your computer and mobile devices. The USU IT Security Team says,

"Making your computer do what you want it to do is only half the job. It is equally important to ensure that your computer does not do what hackers want it to do."

Follow the security tips below to protect your computer and mobile devices from cyber attacks.

Security Tips to Thwart Cyber Attacks
  • Set a strong, unique password to access your device.

  • Regularly update software, operating systems, and applications to avoid vulnerability to attacks.

  • Install and run up-to-date antivirus software.

  • Run a firewall to protect your computer against threats.

  • Set your screen to automatically lock after 15 (or fewer) minutes of inactivity.

  • Take precautions to secure your mobile device against theft or cyber threats. Set an access password, keep software up to date, and avoid keeping confidential information in texts or elsewhere on your device.