Basic Cyber Security
1. Pack it up and take your laptop with you, even if you intend to be right back. Unattended laptops in public places like the library, study lounge, and coffee shops are an invitation for theft or unwanted access to your information.
2. Protect your passwords. If you need to write them down, keep them in a secure location away from your computer. Don’t keep any passwords in your laptop case or on a piece of paper stuck to the laptop. Never share your passwords with anyone.
3. Use different passwords for all online accounts. Secure passwords are long and complex (at least 9 characters, NOT single words, pet names, birthdays, etc.) and include numbers and symbols.
4. Back up your computer files regularly so you don’t lose important assignments, cherished music or photos. Keep backed up files in a safe, secure location away from your computer (or use an online service).
5. Be careful which sites or services you access when using public wireless networks. Even if they’re secure (require a password to get on), you never know who else is using the network.
6. If you have your own wireless network, secure access by requiring a long, complex password. Change the password frequently, such as at the beginning of each term.
7. Be sure your personal laptop has the security software tools you need: a suite of security software, operating system, and web browser all set to update automatically.
8. Use caution when using public computers, such as those in hotels or computer labs. Don’t visit sites that require personal information, such as your bank’s Web site, and be sure to log off when you’re done.
9. Turn your computer off when it’s not in use. This saves your battery (laptops), protects you from somebody accessing it, and saves electricity.