Online Security: 10 Tips to Protect Your Personal Information

by World Campus HelpDesk Staff

Protecting your personal information against identity theft is important for online students and all who use the Internet. Fortunately, you can take action in simple ways to protect your personal information with Penn State and other services you use.

Follow these recommendations from our Penn State World Campus HelpDesk to safeguard your personal information:

1. If you have used your Penn State password as your personal password for email, online shopping, online financial activities, or other online services, you should change your Penn State password.

To change your password, go to From this page, you can change your password, set or update your security questions, or get help if you have forgotten your password.

2. Follow Penn State’s best practices to create a strong password.

3. Do not use your Penn State password for non-Penn State services.

4. Do not click on any links in emails asking you to change your password. Instead, enter the URL into your browser on your own to visit the website directly.

5. Verify emails and links in emails you get from your social networking, school, or bank sites. You want to ensure that the emails and links are valid. If you are suspicious, do not click on the links.

6. Beware of attachments in emails from unsolicited email addresses; these can contain viruses.

7. Never share your Penn State user ID or password with anyone or provide your Penn State credentials to any non-Penn State service. No one from Penn State will ever ask you for your password.

8. Be prudent about what you post online. Never post information such as your Penn State ID, password, driver’s license, Social Security Number (SSN), bank account, or credit card data.

9. Install a reputable anti-spam and anti-virus application to protect your information — and keep it up to date. Penn State allows you to download Symantec antivirus for free with your student account. Visit and find the Symantec Antivirus program for your operating systesm, under “Virus Detection/Spyware Tools.”

10. Learn about phishing scams and what to look for in any messages you receive that may be fraudulent. If you believe you have received a fraudulent message, report it to Penn State.

Feel free to contact the World Campus HelpDesk with any questions or if you need assistance changing your password.