Best Practices

  1. Understand the value of the information stored on your computers and in your computer accounts, and the possible implications of your information being compromised. Perform regular backups of important information.
  2. Increase your awareness of security issues and the dangers surrounding you and the Internet through formal education or by simply keeping up with the latest internet and security news.
  3. Physically secure your computing equipment.
  4. Do not leave printouts of files and data in the open that you would not share electronically.
  5. When installing software, do not keep default security settings and passwords. Hackers exploit those (refer to How to Create a Strong Password for more information).
  6. Apply operating system patches, particularly security patches, in a timely fashion.
  7. Do not ignore errors and warnings on your computer.
  8. Maintain current virus protections software on your desktop.
  9. Do not reply to undesirable email. Do not send "unsubscribe me messages in response to SPAM." Do not respond to stories about people requesting money or stories that promise fortunes.
  10. Do not open e-mail attachments unless you are certain they are safe.
  11. Remember, what you send by e-mail can be propagated to the rest of the world by others in an instant. Never provide your social security number, credit card numbers, usernames or passwords to anyone via email or unsecured web page. Hackers use a technique called "phishing" to lure you into providing such information (refer to Phishing Scams for more information).
  12. Use strong passwords that include letters, numbers and symbols (refer to How to Create a Strong Password for more information). Do not write down or share passwords. Change passwords frequently. Never provide your username and password to anyone via email. UTS will never request you provide such information via email.
  13. Consider using password protected screen savers or turn-on BIOS password protection on your system.
  14. Use secure connections. Never enter your credit card on a site that is not SSL (Secure Socket Layer) secured (look for https:// in the URL as this indicates an SSL encrypted site). Use Virtual Private Networking (VPN) to send or receive sensitive data to server hosts.
  15. Use a firewall enabled router, personal firewall or Network Address Translation (NAT) enabled router on home computers.
  16. Turn-off your computer if not in use for extended length of time.
  17. Lock your computer if you leave it unattended in a public space (refer to How to Lock Your Computer for more information).
  18. Be aware of and support SLU's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and other computing policies.

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