Valuable information like results of exams, study progress or other privacy sensitive information needs to be secured. Regardless whether the data is stored on paper, in IT-systems or any other place; valuable information should be kept safe.

Good IT-security starts at the basis; with firewalls, virus scanners and such. But the threats constantly change. At one time viruses were the number 1 threat; nowadays by surfing the internet ‘web infections’ like ransomware and phishing are popular nowadays in cyber criminality. It is even possible that your online identity gets stolen; with all its consequences. Stay alert, keep up to date and stick to made agreements and take your own precautions to study ‘cyber safe'.

Also read these 7 tips about securing valuable information!

Want to work safer? Here some things you can do yourself:

We all leave personal details behind on the internet. That is why unknown people can find all kinds of information about you including cybercriminals. Online security starts with you! Act sensibly with your personal details.

Use your Solis-id wisely
Keep your Solis-id to yourself and of course your password too!

Be aware where you leave your details and what kind.
Don't heedlessly leave your personal details behind. Sometimes however it is required to log on to a site or it is required to fill out your data (whilst internet banking, online shopping etc.). Always check if the internet connection is safe and make sure you are on the right website (URL). Bear in mind: websites collect more data then you realise surf consciously!

Be alert for phishing
Criminals can seduce you by e-mail or via a website, to enter your personal information. This is called ‘Phishing’. Do not react on it!
A reliable organisation will never ask on their initiative, for your personal details!

More tips about phishing.

The university protects identities with – amongst other – passwords, radio frequency identification (RFID) and multifactor authentication. In the privacy statement is established that Utrecht University will handle personal details from visitors of the UU-website with the utmost care.

Be alert for SPAM email

Also protect yourself against SPAM and/or cybercriminals.


Are you doing enough to secure your online learning environment? Make sure you change your passwords at least twice a year. How to you can find here and also read the tips for a strong password. Some suggestions for tools to help you remember your passwords. Or change your password yourself.

What are the risks if you don't do this?
If your account is hacked, the intruder gains access to sensitive information, research data, Outlook and much more. Your personal profile can be abused to make unauthorised payments or to stalk third parties. So in short; it is vitally important that you change your passwords regularly. In doing so it increases your online security and makes it harder for hackers to gain access. Better be safe than sorry!

It is important to protect your data. Avoid losing data; equipment can always be stolen, crash or fail because of water- or fire damage. With a simple precaution like making a back-up you can be sure of important data always being available.

Handle confidential information with care; lock your computer, laptop and phone. Don’t leave your devices without supervision when you leave your workplace; not even for a short time. Use, by preference, the wireless network Eduroam also whilst you are abroad.

Automatic back-up
The university makes, for instance, a daily back-up of all the data on the  university network. Also of your U drive.

Do it yourself
Making a back-up for the other drives, equipment or home use; read here how to make back-ups in this roadmap.


All our fixed and mobile devices (computer, tablet, smartphone and so on) are also under cyber threat. You yourself should also undertake steps to avoid problems.


  • Make use of an anti-virus program and keep it updated.
  • Install a firewall.
  • Also use an anti-spy program and make sure it is always up to date.
  • Use a spam filter and remove suspicious email immediately.
  • Make sure you use the latest releases of the operating system you use (Windows, Mac OS, etc.) and turn on the feature for automatic updating.
  • Use the most recent versions of the software you  use (Microsoft Office, Adobe (PDF), Firefox etc.). Use for these programs also the automatic update function.
  • When using a wireless network use Eduroam by preference; also abroad. Check other networks to see if they are secured enough.
  • Make use of at least 2 user accounts on your computer; one for installing software and the other – with minimal privileges – for daily use. Ask for help if needed from IT personnel.
  • Prevent contamination of your computer; do not visit suspicious  websites.
  • Be careful with downloading music, games, programs etc. and respect copyrights.
  • Do not use your USB stick on any computer; also do not hook up other USB sticks, other than your own, onto your computer.
  • Lock your computer when you have to leave your workstation; even if is just for a short time.
  • Window pc’s can be locked with <Windows>+L or with <Ctr><Alt><Del>.
  • MacBook’s can be locked with <Ctr><Shift><Eject>.
  • Don’t leave equipment without supervision. Use a safety cable or enquire about the safety measures in the room where you are (classroom, library etc.)
  • Protect your smartphone or tablet with a password or pin code.

Did your pc or laptop somehow still got infected, or do you suspect it might be? Then do not use this machine online any more until the infection is removed. Use another device in the meantime until the problem is solved. It may be that the university quarantines the infected equipment.

Students and staff of Utrecht University can purchase security software with discount via Surfspot.

New information about online security is constantly issued.

The security officers of Utrecht University recommend the following websites. There you can find advice, roadmaps, tips and the latest news.
Here you can find information especially for higher education; this website is a coproduction of all universities and colleges in the Netherlands.


When you have questions about your online safety within our university. Or are you on the lookout for a specific advice? Please feel free to get in touch with our IT Service Desk.

Do you suspect abuse of the university systems or equipment? Please report it as soon as possible to the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UU) via

The university undertakes numerous steps to guarantee safe online studying. In regard to this the university has an agreement with staff and students. This is laid down in the university information security policy. You can read in our IT-regulations to which rules students and staff have to comply.

Like to know more about IT?

See all IT facilities or contact us for help.