Guard Your Privacy


It is important to guard the private information of the university's students, faculty, staff and community to aid the prevention of identity theft, social engineering and other online threats. The Division of Information Technology provides a number of services and resources to help GW community members guard their privacy and protect themselves.

Credit Reports

The Division of Information Technology encourages all GW community members to take advantage of the credit report services available to them in order to help protect their information and privacy. Federal legislation gives users the ability to access their credit reports free of charge every 12 months. Credit reports can be used to protect users' credit card information and detect identity theft and fraud. 

To learn more about credit reports and request a copy of your report, visit Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission is a valuable resource for credit report information and tips for avoiding and dealing with identity theft.

Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when criminals take users' personal information, such as their credit card numbers or Social Security numbers, and use it to commit crimes such as fraud. Identity theft can take many forms, and it can be very difficult to detect and deal with identity theft should you fall victim to it. Protecting GW students, faculty and staff from identity theft is a shared responsibility between the Division of Information Technology and all GW community members.

Awareness of the ways in which identity theft can take place can help you protect yourself from criminals. The Federal Trade Commission offers a wealth of information on identity theft and how you can protect yourself and your information. 

Test Your Knowledge about Identity Theft – Take the OnGuard Online Quiz

Social Engineering

Social engineering occurs when criminals trick people into revealing confidential information. Social engineering can take many forms, including pretexting, diversion theft, phishing, quid pro quo and tailgating, and criminals may ask for users for information such as their ATM card PIN numbers, home addresses and other personal data and use it to commit fraud.

The Division of Information Technology offers awareness training on how to recognize malicious social engineering attempts and how to mitigate the risks associated. For more information about these services, contact us at [email protected].

Search Engines and Your Privacy

Many people occasionally "egosurf," or search for their names with an online search engine in order to see what information appears. Egosurfing can be used to find information about yourself that you may not want to be publicly available.

In order to avoid the spread of unwanted information, it is recommended that you avoid posting such information anywhere on the Internet. The Division of Information Technology works to help protect the privacy of GW community members; please see these useful links for steps you can take to guard your information online.