Information Technology Services

Cyber Security Month 2011

Good Cyber Security Habits

Developing good security habits will help you if you are ever targeted by unscrupulous individuals who seek to obtain your personal information or use your computer for elicit purposes. As long as you have a computer, you are vulnerable to someone or something else accessing or corrupting your information; however, you can develop habits that make it more difficult.

  • Scan your removable media.

  • Always scan removable storage media (such as USB thumb drives, external hard drives, etc.) before accessing it. This will minimize the chances of your computer becoming infected from any of the data on the drive.

  • Disconnect your computer from the Internet when you are not using it.
    Developments in technologies (such as high speed internet access) have made it possible for users to be online all the time; but this convenience comes with risks. The likelihood that attackers or viruses scanning the network for available computers will target your computer becomes much higher if your computer is always connected. Simply shutting down your computer minimizes that risk and saves energy too!
  • Evaluate your security settings.

  • Often software, such as web browsers and email programs, offer a variety of features that you can tailor to meet your needs and requirements. However enabling certain features to increase convenience or functionality may leave you more vulnerable to being attacked. It is important to examine the settings; particularly the security settings, and select options that meet your needs without putting you at increased risk and always leave your firewall on.

  • Protect your computer against power surges and brief outages.

  • Aside from providing outlets to plug in your computer and all of its peripherals, some power strips protect your computer against power surges. Power strips are also a good way to manage your computers power needs from one switch. During situations that increase the odds of power surges (lighting storms, construction/remodeling projects, etc.), consider shutting your computer down and unplugging it from the electrical wall outlet.

  • Back up all of your data.

  • Whether or not you take steps to protect yourself, there will always be a possibility that something will happen to destroy your data. You have probably already experienced this at least once— losing one or more files due to an accident, a virus or worm, a natural event, or a problem with your equipment. Just say YES to data back-up.

  • Be Conscious of File Sharing.

  • Before setting-up file sharing software, consider the risks. You may be providing access to files you didn't intend to share, such as tax returns, e-mail messages, or other personal information. You could also unwittingly download viruses, pornography, or copyright protected materials.

  • Individual User Accounts and Passwords.

  • Always require a login to your computer and make sure to set a password to your computer login. Whenever you reinstall your computer operating system don’t forget to create a password for the administrator account. Don’t forget to lock your computer when you are away from it. Set it to lock automatically when computer system is idle. If you share your computer at home, create a user account and password for each person.

Clark ITS is committed to helping you. If you have any questions, need help or advice, please let us know.

Clark ITS Help Desk | Clark University - Academic Commons | P: 508-793-7745
Never share your Clark Account Password, ITS will never ask you for this personal information.