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, username or email address. This means your account or account information MAY have been accessed or used 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 and prevent your personal information from spreading further.

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 secure your information and account.

  1. Inform ITS
    • If you think your account has been compromised and Information Technology Services (ITS) has not already contacted you, contact the ITS Service Desk at help.fsu.edu.
    • Employees must also contact their departmental IT manager.
  2. Reset your FSUID password
    • The most important thing to do is change your FSUID password from a computer you know is safe.
    • Make sure all of your devices (e.g., cellphones, tablets) configured to access an FSU email account, Wi-Fi 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—either university systems or personal accounts such as Amazon, Gmail or Instagram—that share the same password, set a new, unique password for those accounts as well. And remember, you should never use your FSUID password for any non-FSU account.
  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 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 and malware 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 department IT support staff to have your computer scanned.
    • Install and run a strong anti-virus, anti-spyware program.
    • NOTE: Your department's IT support staff 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
    • If your email account was compromised, the attacker may have changed your account settings. It is a good idea to review your email account and restore your 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.
    • NOTE: Your department’s IT support staff 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 your account is not blocked or restricted, call the ITS Service Desk at 850-644-4357.
  10. Monitor your accounts
    • Keep an eye on your credit cards, bank accounts and other financial accounts. Carefully review the charges on each account 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.
    • Consider purchasing an identity monitoring service to take extra steps to protect your identity.
  11. Complete cybersecurity training
    • ITS provides detailed training on phishing, ransomware and other common cybersecurity threats. Complete the training to learn how to better protect yourself in the future.
  12. Review Florida's Identity Theft Victim Toolkit

Questions?We are here to help. If you have any questions or need assistance, submit a support request or contact the ITS Service Desk Monday-Friday from 8AM-6PM ET at 850-644-4357 or help.fsu.edu.

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