Skip to main content

Information Security Incident

Quick Exit

For privacy, you can exit at any time.

What is an information security incident?

Information security incidents are events that give someone access to sensitive information (personally identifiable details, passwords, academic, health, or financial records) without permission. Some information security incidents are crimes that should be reported to the police, such as scams resulting in financial loss.

Examples of Information Security Incidents

  • Someone accessed your account in CAESAR and changed your class schedule or loan information.
  • You replied to an unsolicited email that asked for your NetID, password, or other personal information and then suspected it could be a scam. 
  • A file containing Social Security numbers was accidentally sent to the wrong recipient. 
  • A laptop containing unencrypted sensitive research data was lost.

How to report an information security incident

Your reporting procedure may depend on the type of incident you experienced.

Report a Phishing Incident

How to report: Please forward the entire email message you received, which includes both the body of the message and the full email header, to

Before reporting the suspicious email, please review the list of recent phishing messages reported at Northwestern to see if your issue is already a known issue. 

See Recent Phishing Attempts

Report a Crime

How to report: If you feel threatened, in danger, or if a crime was committed (such as theft of electronic equipment), immediately contact University Police. 

  • For emergencies: call 911
  • For non-emergencies in Evanston: call 847-491-3456
  • For non-emergencies in Chicago: call 312-503-3456
More on Reporting to University Police

You can also reach out directly to Northwestern's Information Security Office. EthicsPoint is also an option for anonymous reports.

Reach out directly to Information Security

Reporter: Any member of the Northwestern community can report a concern about a potential information security incident.

Confidentiality: <<I need this information.>>

Contact Information Security

File an Online Report

Reporter: Any individual can use EthicsPoint, which has anonymous reporting options.

Confidentiality: While such complaints will retain anonymity, the University's ability to investigate and respond to anonymous complaints is limited.

File an Ethicspoint Report

Learn more about this issue

Know your rights: Northwestern's Non-Retaliation Policy

Northwestern's Policy on Non-Retaliation strictly prohibits retaliation against any member of its community for reporting or inquiring in good faith about suspected wrongful or unlawful activity, or participating in an investigation or proceeding related to such activity. The University considers such actions to be protected activities in which all members may freely engage without worry of negative consequences.