Information Technology

Cyber-Safe top 4 Best Practices

Best Practice #1 for cyber-safe computing...

Did you know your system can get infected with malware just be visiting a site, even if you do not click on anything?  Out of date web browsers and plugins are HIGHLY susceptible to malware and can allow your system to be infected while the web page is loading.

When your browser plug-in components like Java, Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight prompt you to update, take the time to save your work and apply the update.

View this external link Securing your Web Browser on how to update these components and more.

 

Best Practice #2 for cyber-safe computing...

Your account credentials (userID and password) are the number one thing that cybercriminals are trying to get.  Account credentials are the key that unlocks the door to your personal data, bank accounts, research, and sometimes other people's sensitive data.  

Review these guidelines: 

1. Do not share your userID or password with anyone.  No one from the FLC IT Department or Helpdesk will ever ask you for your password.  Never give it to anyone!

2. Never enter your userID and password into web sites that are not encrypted or have certifcate errors.

3. Never send your username and/or password in email, text or instant messaging.

4. Strenghten and lenghten your password by using a password phrase.  Something like: "MyPassw0rdISBetterthanSlicedBread!".

5. Do not use the same username and password for social media that you use for your school or email accounts.

6. Write down your passwords in a notebook or a list that is stored somewhere secure and away from your computer.   

7. You may consider using a service like a password manager; LastPass, DashLane, Bitum are a few products.  These are effective tools that help you manage and change your password, and also to help inventory which sites you have accounts on.

 

Best Practice #3 for cyber-safe computing...

It's easy for cyber-criminals to send pictures, attachments and links in social media chats or emails that look like they from a friend or family member.  Avoid opening attachements and be wary of clicking on pictures.  Hover your cursor over links and images to inspect the URL before you click.  Know where you going before you click!

 

Best Practice #4 for cyber-safe computing...

Despite best efforts, sometimes files become lost or systems compromised.  When this happens, the only thing you can do is restore from a backup.  One thing to consider is that applications and operating systems can be re-installed, so it is not necessary to back those up.  Your documents, pictures, emails, presentations, etc. are unique files that can be lost if you do not have a copy stored somewhere.

A simple way to backup files is to keep a copy on the network share.  Available on campus and from the Internet,  https://webfiles.fortlewis.edu/  provides you a folder to store copies of your important files in.

You may want to keep copies of important files on removable media, such as USB storage.

To learn more about your network share, visit  "Connecting to your M and O Drives".