University Technology

Good Computing Practices

Use Passwords not easily guessed and protect them

    • Don’t share your passwords and avoid writing them down
    • Password protect all your devices
    • Characteristics of good, cryptic passwords
        • Contain a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols
        • At least 8 characters in length
        • Difficult to guess (don’t make them real words, personal information, places, pets, birthdays, addresses, etc)
        • Easy to remember so you don’t have to write it down

Don’t store sensitive data outside of designated areas

    • Delete sensitive information whenever you can. Keep it off your workstation, laptop, and other electronic devices if at all possible
    • Don’t keep external copies of sensitive data on USB drives, CDs, DVDs, or other portable media

Beware of scams

  • Don’t respond to email, instant messages (IM), texts, phone calls, etc., asking for your password. You should never disclose your password to anyone, even if they says they work for WIU, Utech, or other campus organizations.
  • Only click links from trusted sources. Never click on an unfamiliar link unless you have a way to independently verify that it is safe. Your best options is always to open a browser and take yourself to the location rather than use the link.
  • Don’t open unsolicited or unexpected attachments. If you can’t verify an attachment is legitimate, delete it.
  • Don’t give private information to anyone you don’t know or who doesn’t have a legitimate need for it – in person, over the phone, via email, IM, text, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Beware of IRS scams and phony computer support scams. These are typically over the phone and threaten dire consequences if you don’t act immediately.

Protect information when using email and internet

  • Only use trusted, secure web pages when entering personal or sensitive information online. Most browsers will show you a “lock”, the words secure in the address bar, or show HTTPS; always check before entering data.
  • Be especially careful about what you do over wireless. Information sent via standard unencrypted wireless are especially easy for hackers to intercept (most public access wireless is unencrypted). Use WIU VPN when connecting via public wireless.
  • If you have to send sensitive data via email, make sure you encrypt the data before sending it.
  • Be extremely careful with file sharing software. File sharing opens your computer to the risk of malicious files and attackers. Also, if you share or download copyrighted files, you will be monitored by the campus CopySense program.

Protect computer (updates, antivirus, etc.)

  • Shutdown or restart your computer at least weekly. This helps to make sure software and security updates are properly installed.
  • If you get an antivirus alert that there is malware or a virus on your computer, contact the Utech support Center for assistance.

Secure mobile devices

  • Make sure all mobile devices have passwords
  • Never keep sensitive data on a mobile devices.
  • Lock up mobile devices whenever possible.

Shutdown, lock, log off when leaving

  • When leaving for a meeting, lunch, or even a break, lock your computer.
      • Windows
          • <windows><L>
          • <ctrl><alt><delete> then click the lock workstation option
      • Mac:
          • Click the Apple icon and select sleep
          • Shutting the lid of MacBooks

Don’t install or download unknown or unsolicited programs/apps

  • These can contain behind-the-scenes viruses or open a “back door” giving others access to your device with your knowledge.

Secure your area physically when leaving

  • Be aware of your physical security by not leaving windows or doors unlocked. When leaving for the day, make sure sensitive papers and devices are not in plain sight and are locked when possible.

Store important files on the network so it’s backed up.

  • Backing up important files is a must. The best option is to store them on the network (P or S) so that they are backed up. A partial backup is performed at noon daily, followed by a full back up at night.