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IT Security



Account Security

Never give your ONU password to ANYONE. It is not only a password for your email but also gives access to your academic activities, financial records and your personal information. When you sign the FERPA form for parents, this does not give them permission to reset your ONU password for you. The IT Help Desk will only reset passwords for the account owner.

Phishing Emails

Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

Ohio Northern University does not initiate contact with anyone via email or telephone to request private, personal (Name, SSN, DOB) or logon account information (username, password). If you think you provided personal or account information in response to a fraudulent email, website or phone call, be sure to change your password immediately.

If you receive any emails (from ONU or sent from an ONU Email Address) asking you to Verify Your Account, Enter Your Credentials, or Download a Program, it is most likely a phishing attempt. If you feel that you have been targeted by a phishing attempt please email the IT Help Desk ( with information about the suspicious behavior.

For more information please contact the IT Help Desk at (419)772-1111 or


Malware, short for malicious software, is software used to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or to gain access to private settings on your computer. Malware is defined by its malicious intent, acting against the requirements of the computer user, and does not include software that causes unintentional harm due to some deficiency. Malware may be stealthy, intended to steal information or spy on computer users for an extended period without their knowledge.

  • Windows users can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (free version) from
  • IT offers Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium for univeristy-owned computers

Malware may also present itself as a pop-up and “warn” you of a virus on your computer. NEVER call the phone number for ANY pop-ups on your computer. They will ask for remote control of your system and then request a credit card to “fix” the issues. Sometimes they will even put files on your system that can spy further or even lock your system down completely. They are NOT legitimate computer repair companies. If you ever have a question about anything on your computer please call the IT Help Desk.


Browser Extensions

A browser extension is a computer program that extends the functionality of a web browser in some way. Depending on the browser and the version, the term may be distinct from similar terms such as plug-in or add-on.

When downloading software, you should read each page and understand what you are installing on your machine. Often while installing software, there will be offers for other programs such as Toolbars, Virus Scans, and PC Optimizers. Such offers should be DECLINED or SKIPPED, and should not be trusted.


Things to Remember

You should use the following precautions to minimize the risk of falling victim scams online:

  • Know that legitimate companies will not call you without solicitation and tell you that you must pay for tech support;
  • Find a legitimate phone number for the company and ask them whether a representative contacted you;
  • Never allow someone to take remote control of your computer unless you are certain that they are actually representing a legitimate company;
  • Do not disclose sensitive financial information such as passwords, credit card, or bank account routing numbers over the phone; and
  • When buying things online or by phone, use a credit card or a debit card so that you can better dispute fraudulent charges.

If you believe that you are the victim of a tech support scam, please take the following actions:

  • Call your credit card company and ask to have the charges reversed;
  • Check your bank and credit card statements for inaccuracies. If you find any, ask that those charges be reversed, too;
  • Contact the major credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and notify them of the potential for fraud on your account; and
  • Delete the tracking software from your computer. You are welcomed to bring your computer to the IT Help Desk for clean-up as well.


Information Technology: Help Desk

IT Help Desk

Northern Commons Room 121
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
Monday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed