IT Services


Sussex University, along with its students and staff, are high-value targets for spammers and hackers. IT Services works to protect your online security, but you should always take steps to ensure your data and identity are kept secure.

On this page, you can see the latest security threats that have been reported to the IT Service Desk and you can find advice about staying safe online.

General Security advice

Stop and think
Stop and think
The best defence is to think before you do anything. Does it seem right to you?
Don't click
Don't click the link
If you think the email might be from a genuine source, such as your bank, open a web browser and type the address of their site yourself rather than following a link that could be redirected.
Be Suspicious
Be suspicious
Don't reply to an email if you don't know who the sender is.
Don't open attachments
Don't open attachments
They may not be what they seem. If you don't know what it is and who it's from, don't open it.

Fraudulent emails

Unfortunately, spam and phishing emails are an unavoidable part of being a member of a high-profile institution like Sussex University. Millions of fraudulent emails are stopped every year by IT Services, but some will get through to your inbox.
If you receive an unsolicited email asking you to confirm your personal details, open an attachment or login to a website, don't follow links, open attachments or respond in any way.
If you receive an email you're not sure about, forward it to the IT Service Desk ( to be checked.

By replying to the message or logging in to the hacker's site, you will be giving them access to your accounts, your data and your identity. Falling for a trick like this can be disruptive you and for others, and can put sensitive information at risk. Your email account might be hijacked to send large volumes of spam, or your login details used to get access to other systems. Opening an email attachment with malware can damage your computer.

Keeping your own Windows PC secure

Windows 10

Most Windows users have now switched to Windows 10, and we recommend that any users on older versions of Windows upgrade as soon as possible.

If you have your own Windows PC, you must have security software. Even within the Sussex network, you are exposed to security threats on a regular basis and you must have protection. Windows 10 has a built-in program called Windows Defender which provides you with antivirus protection.

Keep up to date

Use Windows Update keep your PC up to date.

  • From the Desktop hold down the Windows key and press I
  • Click on the Update and Security icon

The Update status shows the current status of your PC and alerts you to any tasks which need to be completed.

Keeping your Mac secure

An increasing number of threats are affecting Apple computers and Mac users can also unwittingly pass infections on to colleagues and friends. See the Apple security page for advice on staying safe.

If you have a personally-owned Mac, you should also consider a professional antivirus product - there are several free services available, including software provided by Avast, Sophos and AVG.

Staff and cluster room PCs

We manage the security of staff desktops and student PCs centrally. Staff do not need to update office PCs that are managed by IT Services. See also:


Programs and files that might be harmful to your computer are collectively known as malware and include:

  • viruses and worms - computer programs that multiply by making copies of themselves
  • spyware - software that monitors activity on your computer and may be used to collect personal information
  • document malware - files such as Excel documents or PDF files which contain a malicious script that can give access to to your computer
  • trojan horses - or simply "trojans", these are programs that are advertised as one thing, for example a screensaver or a slide show, but once installed, perform unwelcome operations

See also

Information security
Policies and guidance on how information is managed at Sussex

Our guide to choosing and using passwords

Computing accounts
Frequently asked questions about computing accounts at Sussex

My ITS account
Login to change your password and set email options

Security alerts

Beware of the latest attacks:

"ITS Support" or "ITS Help Desk"
16 March 2018

ITS Help-desk
14 March 2018

Help Desk
13 March 2018

Dear Sussex User
12 March 2018

7 March 2018

ITS Help-desk
5 March 2018

RE: Outlook Action Required
5 March 2018

RE: Outlook update
2 March 2018

Action Required: Email Account Notification
2 March 2018

RE: Urgent Action Required
1 March 2018

University of Sussex
28 February 2018

Help Desk / US Help Desk / University of Sussex
18 February 2018

Payroll Notification
13 February 2018

Email confirmation
13 February 2018

Help Desk
11 February 2018

Updated on 9 January 2018