Online Security Basics

There are some easy things you can do, without purchasing expensive technology or investing a lot of time of reconfiguring your home network, to make you faster and to keep you from being an easy target online. This is a very basic list but in many places you can connect to other areas of our site to get more detailed information about each security measure. Many valuable resources also can be found online through a simple web search.

  1. Keep your systems and software up-to-date.
  2. Always have current anti-virus running.
  3. Avoid phishing scams.
  4. Use a complex password or a password manager. 
  5. Be careful what you click. Any disreputable sites can link you to the bad guys.
  6. Never leave your computer or devices unattended. Lock those screens when you head to the restroom. Any open system is free for the infecting.
  7. Create a pin for your mobile device, and try to never leave it on an airplane.
  8. Protect the data. For instance, the university has an Institutional Data Policy that classifies data according to sensitivity. These same principles apply to stay safe when sharing your personal data online.
  9. Back up your data.
  10. When shopping online, or sharing sensitive data, be sure you are sending information encrypted through SSL.
  11. Be smart about what you share (and don’t share) on social media.
  12. Offline, be careful of social engineering, the attempt by a stranger to pull information from you that you wouldn’t share online. Birthday? Favorite vacation spot? First pet’s name? Do they really need that information?
  13. Be sure to monitor your financial and social media accounts for suspicious activity.