How to Protect Your Personal Devices
Cybersecurity doesn’t stop at home! There are many small steps you can take to protect yourself, such as:
- Make sure you have an anti-virus software installed
- Use a webcam cover
- Use multi-factor authentication
If you believe yourself to be a victim of fraud, scams, or bad business practices please report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at reportfraud.ftc.gov.
Don’t take the bait! Scammers send an email message in an attempt to trick you into revealing personal information that can be used to commit fraud, a practice commonly known as phishing.
How to spot it:
- Spelling and grammar mistakes
- Urgent language prompting immediate action
- Request for confidential information
- Hover over links, if they go to an unrelated website, don’t click
What to do:
- Don’t click any links or reply to the message
- Contact the UWM Help Desk; they can offer advice or help you if you believe you’ve been phished
Learn how to protect yourself by understanding the nature of Internet-based threats and about the protection options and tools built into most web browsers and email systems.
Internet Safety for Students (55 mins, may require login).
Illegal File Sharing FAQ’s
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 made it illegal to republish copyrighted information by downloading, uploading or file-sharing media such as music, movies, or software. Digitally sharing copyrighted materials is illegal and also violates the Acceptable Use Policy for UWM regarding use of the campus network.
The University does not monitor individual network activity. However, UWM is obligated by law to respond to valid complaints from copyright holders and their agents. DMCA complaints are taken seriously and may result in loss of access to the UWM network, academic discipline under University policy, or fines or legal action by the copyright holders and/or their agents.
Groups like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) pay organizations to gather information from the internet to identify where files are being shared illegally. Individual lawsuits are being settled out of court for $4,000-$5,000. Lawsuits that are not settled out of court can result in higher monetary damages.
Groups such as the RIAA send an official complaint to the Internet Service Provider (UWM when you are using the UWM network). UWM notifies the campus network administrator responsible for the area in which the infringement occurred. The individual is then notified about the complaint so they can stop the illegal use of copyrighted material. Wherever possible, network access for the device or individual in question is removed until it can be verified that the infringing activity has stopped or until a counterclaim is filed.
The copyright holders’ lawyers can file a federal lawsuit and then subpoena the University for the information to identify the individual. With your name and user account information, the attorneys can pursue monetary damages against you in court. This is the risk you assume when you engage in illegal file sharing.
Use of programs such as BitTorrent, uTorrent, and LimeWire may result in illegal P2P sharing of digital materials.
While some files may be legally shared via common P2P programs, most true freeware programs or public domain music are available elsewhere on the Internet. If you use P2P file sharing software, it is your responsibility to ensure you are not downloading or sharing copyrighted music, movies or software.
If you’ve been contacted regarding a DMCA violation, it is possible that you’ve been targeted for the settlement letter as well. If you wish to obtain a copy of any such letter or contact information for the RIAA, you may request it from UWM. Incidentally, the parties to a lawsuit can agree to settle a case at any time. You do not legally forfeit your right to settle by not responding to a pre-settlement letter. While it is impossible to know if the RIAA will be amenable to settlement at a particular time in the future, typically corporations prefer to settle cases in lieu of undertaking a trial which is costly and time consuming.
It is the policy of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (‘UWM”) to promptly investigate notices of alleged copyright infringement, and take appropriate actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Title 17, United States Code, Section 512 (“DMCA”).
DMCA notifications are to be submitted to the DMCA Compliance and Notification Agent.