Security and Privacy

Information Security Awareness Campaigns

Information Security and the threat landscape is always changing. It is our duty to stay current and up to date with security threats and the latest trends.
Arcadia University now offers Information Security Training for Arcadia Faculty and Staff, using a platform called KnowBe4. The offered, interactive video training modules include information about general security concepts such as the security threat landscape, how to identify phishing emails, password security, and how to safely work from home. Taking advantage of this training will not only help you protect Arcadia University data, but will also help you protect your personal information at home.

It is the responsibility of everyone at Arcadia University to participate in our Information Security initiatives to the fullest effort, and training is just the first step!

For a list of frequently asked questions about the training program, please view our KnowBe4 FAQ documentation.

Arcadia University Password Criteria

Your password is like the key to your home; you want to keep it safe and out of the hands of potential threats. Losing it or not making a secure password gives threat actors access to valuable information and assets. Follow the guidelines below to ensure your passwords are safe and secure!

Beginning  June 1, 2020, Arcadia will begin using Secure Passphrases in place of overly complex, hard to remember passwords. Having a memorable passphrase helps you maintain secure credentials while at the same time making it easier for you to remember without the need to write down your credentials. 

All Arcadia Faculty, Staff, and Students must have a passphrase that meets the following criteria:

  • At least 15 characters in length
  • Must contain 3 of the 4 below parameters:
    • One (1) upper case letter
    • One (1) lower case letter
    • One (1) number
    • One non-alphanumeric character (such as: ! @ # $ % ^ &, etc.)

To create a passphrase:

  1. Step 1: Choose 3 words that are at least 5 characters long and have personal and secret meaning to you. AVOID the items listed in our guidelines section.
  2. Step 2: Make at least one (1) of the letters in the words uppercase (but leave some lower case as well) OR Add a number or special character in your phrase to meet the length requirements of your 15-character passphrase!

Passphrase Guidelines and Tips

When creating your passphrase, remember these important tips:

  • Make your passphrase as unique as you! You should never use the same passphrase for multiple accounts.
  • Your passphrases should not contain:
    • Your name
    • Your username/email address
    • Mailing addresses
    • Date of birth or other important dates such as anniversaries
    • Spouses/Family/Friends/Pets names and birthdays
    • Your SSN or Private information
  • Do not write down your passphrase or share it with anyone – not even IT!
  • If you need to record your passphrase, use a secure password vault, such as LastPass or KeePass
  • For additional tips on using passphrases, check out the KnowBe4 “Strong Passwords” module in your KnowBe4 Information Security Awareness Campaign

Virus Protection

A computer virus is a piece of software that has been written to surreptitiously enter your computer system and "infect" your files. Some viruses are benign and won't harm your system, while others are destructive and can damage or destroy your data. Typically a computer virus will replicate itself and try to infect as many files and systems as possible.

Trojan Horse

A Trojan horse is a type of virus which enters a computer system by the sharing of infected program files or when an infected program is downloaded from the Internet. As the name implies, its trademark is deceptiveness. Victims are falsely lured into thinking that their computer systems will benefit from the infected program when in reality, the Trojan horse is waiting for a "trigger" event (such as open an email attachment) to occur so that it can activate its damaging behavior.

Computer Worm

A computer worm is another type of virus. It infects entire networks of computers by making a copy of itself as it moves from system to system. In recent releases, worms have been found in e-mail attachments and are activated when the victim tries to open the infected file.

Virus Symptoms

  • Unusual messages or displays on your monitor
  • Unusual sounds or music played at random times
  • Your system has less available memory than it should
  • A disk or volume name has been changed
  • Programs or files are suddenly missing
  • Unknown programs or files have been created
  • Some of your files become corrupted or suddenly don't work properly

Protect Your Computer

  • Update your operating system regularly
  • Install good Anti-virus Software such as (Symantec, MacAfee, Kaspersky, Sophos, Panda)
  • Keep your anti-virus software current
  • Configure the antivirus to scan all removable media
  • Use Firewalls on the internet
  • Don’t open unknown e-mail attachments
  • Know what you download from the internet

If a Virus is Discovered

  • Try to clean or delete the file(s) if an anti-virus software is installed
  • If you receive an email attachment that your anti-virus software flags or detects, delete it immediately
  • You might also want to contact all the people that you've recently exchanged data with -- via email attachments, flash drives, etc.


A firewall is a software program or piece of hardware that helps screen out hackers, viruses, and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet. A personal computer connected to the Internet without a firewall can be hijacked and added to an Internet outlaw's botnet in just a few minutes. A firewall can block malware that could otherwise scan your computer for vulnerabilities and then try to break in at a weak point. The only way to make a home computer 100% secure is to turn it off or disconnect it from the Internet.

At a minimum, home computers need to have personal firewall, antivirus and anti-spyware software installed and kept up-to-date. A home network that uses a wired or wireless router with firewall features provides additional protection.

Recommended Firewalls

Never use two personal firewall software products at the same time. Fully uninstall one before installing another to prevent compatibility problems. After installation, be sure to test it to make sure that it is configured correctly. Testing is the only sure way to tell that your computer is really being protected.