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Sun email for personal purposes

Recently some staff have been caught off-guard by emails from cyber criminals trying to exploit them by threatening to release sensitive video material. The sender of this email does not have any video material, but tries to be psychologically manipulative and convince the receiver that he does. Unfortunately he also refers to the email receiver’s sun email address and a password they used at some stage.

This is not because the university’s network has been compromised. It happens because staff and students also use their sun address in a personal capacity. We highly discourage you to do this. In this case someone used their sun address on a website, for example Ster Kinekor, whose database was, at some stage, compromised. Subsequently cyber criminals gained access to the username and password. This gave them access to the person’s Ster Kinekor’s (or whichever site it was) information, but also – and this is more dangerous – to the person’s potential information everywhere he reused the email address and specific password. This includes Stellenbosch University sites and applications, including the financial and HR system. Of course, it the password has been changed over time, it will be useless. However, this remains an enormous risk.

Please note the following: 

  1. Never use your sun email address for anything except for University applications. If you need to send personal emails, rather consider getting a free email account, for example, Gmail. Separating your business and personal activities is better security practice in the long run and will protect you and the University network.
  2. Keep in mind that according to the Electronic Communication Policy which all staff and students agree to when they register their usernames each year, you’re not allowed to use your sun address for personal communication and that the University owns any communication sent via email. If needed, University management has the right to access any material in your email or on your computer.  
  3. If you receive an email as mentioned above, for safety sake, go and change your login details and passwords on any sites where you are registered with your @sun address.

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