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Cyber Security Do's and Don'ts

posted Sep 15, 2017, 8:23 AM by Craig Cox   [ updated Sep 15, 2017, 8:25 AM ]
  • Create strong passwords that are at least eight characters long, and including at least a numerical value and a symbol, such as #, to foil password‐cracking software. Avoid common words, and never disclose a password online.
  • Use secure password management software such as Dashlane or KeePass.
  • Change your passwords every ninety days.
  • Perform regular backups of important data.
  • If possible, create a password for your files in order to protect file sharing activities.
  • Physically secure your laptop
  • Delete any message that refers to groups or organizations that you are not a part of.
  • Download and install software only from online sources you know and trust.
  • Never click on a link from an untrusted source.
  • Close windows containing pop‐up ads or unexpected warnings by clicking on the “X” button in the upper right hand corner of that window, not by clicking within the window.
  • Use antivirus software, and update it on a regular basis to recognize the latest threats. Heed ITR security alerts to download antidotes for newly circulating viruses and worms.
  • Regularly update your operating system, Web browser, and other major software, using the manufacturers' update features, preferably using the auto update functionality.
  • Set Windows or Mac updates to auto‐download.
  • Save attachments to disk before opening them. Our Sophos Antivirus will automatically scan your attachments if you save them to disk.

  • Never write down your password. Especially on a Post‐It note stuck to your computer!
  • Never give out your password to anyone, whether you know them or not.
  • Never select the "Remember My Password" option, especially in web browsers. Many applications do not store them securely.
  • Never purchase anything promoted in a spam message. Even if the offer isn’t a scam, you are only helping to finance and encourage spam.
  • Please use caution when opening an e‐mail attachment, even from someone you know well, unless you were expecting it.
  • Avoid creating common passwords such as your name, social security, birth dates, etc.
  • Do not leave your laptop unattended, even for a few minutes
  • Never reply to e-mail(s) requesting financial or personal information.
  • Please refrain from clicking on any buttons within pop-up ads.
  • Under no circumstances should you install or use pirated copies of software.
  • Do not install P2P file sharing programs which can illegally download copyrighted material.
  • Never set your e-mail program to "auto-open" attachments.
These tips can be downloaded as a PDF file.