Steps to secure a possibly compromised FSU account

You have probably been directed to this page because suspicious activity has been associated with your FSU account. This means your account MAY have been accessed by an unauthorized person. First of all, don’t panic! You are not the first person this has happened to, and there are steps you can take to minimize the damage.

What to Do
Speed is key. When your FSUID or FSU email account is compromised, you must follow the steps below as soon as possible to ensure the security of your information and functionality of your account.

  1. Inform ITS and your unit's IT manager
    • If Information Technology Services (ITS) has not already contacted you, and you think your account has been compromised, contact the ITS Service Desk at 850-644-HELP(4357). Employees must also contact their departmental IT manager.
  2. Reset your FSUID password
    • The most important thing to do is change the password of the possible compromised account from a computer you know is safe. Reset your FSUID password.
    • Make sure all of your external devices (e.g. mobile phones, computers, tablets) configured to access an FSU email account, wireless network or other FSU system have been updated with the new password. Check out these password reset tips for additional assistance.
    • If you have any other accounts—including university systems as well as personal accounts such as Amazon, Gmail or Twitter—that share the same password, set a new, unique password for those accounts as well.
  3. Confirm your FSUID security questions have not been changed
    • If you did not use your security questions to reset your FSUID password, follow the FSUID password reset process to ensure that your security question answers have not changed - you can stop before setting a new password if you have already done that.
  4. Scan your computer for viruses
    • Use a virus scanner to have your computer checked for and cleaned of any viruses and malware. If you are a student, you may contact Student Computing Support for virus removal. If you are an employee using a university-owned computer, work with your IT support personnel to have your machine scanned.
    • Make sure you install and run a strong anti-virus, anti-spyware program.
    • Your unit's desktop support may have to complete this step for you.
  5. Check to make sure your firewall is turned on
  6. Check your account for unauthorized changes
    • Check your FSU account for any changes that have been made without your knowledge or approval.
    • Students: Make sure changes have not been made to your financial aid disbursement, tuition refund, or other financial accounts: 
    • Employees: Make sure changes have not been made to your personal information or paycheck routing: 
  7. Double check email account settings
    • Check out this FAQ for assistance with restoring your default email settings.
    • If your email was used to send spam messages, you will likely receive large amounts of junk emails such as auto-replies or bounces from spam messages that could not be delivered. These emails—called “backscatter” or “undeliverables”—are not spam, and can simply be deleted at your discretion.
    • Your unit's desktop support may have to complete this step for you.
  8. Avoid having your account possibly compromised again
  9. Confirm your email account is active
    • Compromised email accounts are often blocked from sending new outbound email messages. To ensure that your account is not blocked or restricted, call the ITS Service Desk at 850-644-HELP(4357).
  10. Monitor your accounts
    • Keep an eye on your bank accounts, credit scores and other important, personal accounts and look out for additional credit cards, loans or purchases you did not initiate. If you find fraudulent charges or accounts, contact the FSU Police to report a crime.
    • Request a free copy of your credit report throughout the year from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
    • Consider contacting each of the three major credit bureaus to place a freeze on your credit, preventing any new accounts from being opened without your approval.
    • Never use your FSU account password for any non-FSU account. Remember to set a new, unique password for those accounts as well.
  11. Review Florida's Identity Theft Victim Toolkit

We’re here to help. If you have any questions or need assistance, submit a support request or contact the ITS Service Desk at 850-644-HELP(4357) or

Legacy Sort
Legacy Priority
title-inside title-centered