Watch Out for Social Media “Surveys”

With everyone spending more time at home, traffic on social media sites has grown tremendously. One particular item to avoid during this time of boredom meltdown, even though they may be fun, are so-called “surveys” on social media sites. You know, the ones that ask about favorite colors, pet’s names, mother’s maiden name, what schools you attended, favorite songs, movies, cars, or whatever? Do these questions sound familiar?

If you have ever set up backup “security questions” for a web site, you’ll notice the surveys ask for many of the same bits of information. A fair percentage of these surveys are simply intended to grab your username for the social network, then slyly ask you to hand over potential security question answers.

Don’t fill out these surveys. Yeah, they can be fun, maybe, but if the information you willingly hand over may allow someone to reset your password by knowing the answers to your security questions, then they are a really bad idea!

With that in mind, whenever you fill out these backup security questions, you should never put real information in as your answers. Make up answers for these questions, then record those answers somewhere safe, like in a password manager, along with your unique password for the site! This way, you can provide the answers to these questions, but no one else will be able to discover than information from the far reaches of the Internet, or from your answers to a social media site “survey”.

If you would like more information on password managers, check out the short password manager article here on this site.


If you haven’t signed up for multi-factor authentication (MFA), what are you waiting for? This adds an additional layer of protection to your Berry account and lets you keep the same password for a whole year! Setup take only a few minutes. Make your request by emailing to tell them you want MFA!


If you’re not following Berry OIT on Facebook (@BerryCollegeOIT), Twitter (@berryoit), or Instagram (@berrycollegeoit), you should be, as more information from OIT and specifically Information Security, will be provided using these outlets. Remember you can always check back here for warnings about current phishing emails, confirmations of valid emails you might have a question about, and data breach notifications. There’s also the Q&A section, where you can ask a question and get an answer directly from me, and the events calendar where events like tables in Krannert and LunchITS will be posted.


Photo Credit: Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Course Evaluation Emails Are Real

It’s that time of year. A chance for students to evaluate the courses they have taken this semester. A chance to give some constructive feedback (or vent).

Students if you received an email requesting you evaluate your courses, this is real. Professors do care about your feedback, as do the schools and departments. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. It will adjust to whatever device you are using.

Faculty, you should have received an email notice that course evaluations were open and how you can check your response rate and encourage your students to complete the evaluation.

These emails do have the external email banner on them, but it is because we use an external service to send the emails.

If you have any questions about the validity of a given email, please contact Information Security at x1750 (706-236-1750) or email

Request to complete the NSSE survey is valid

A group of students received an email with the subject “Can you please help Berry College?”. This email is from Institutional Research and is an attempt to solicit feedback from students on their engagement here at Berry. This is a legitimate survey and provides valuable information to the Institutional Research department about how students feel about their Berry experience.

Provost Boyd previously sent an email explaining the purpose of the survey.

Completing the survey will enter you into a drawing to win a prize, and the deadline is March 22nd, so if you are interested, please fill out the survey as soon as possible.