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Internet Safety and Security
Procedures and standards for securing University computers and data are outlined in UND IT Security Policy as well as North Dakota University System (NDUS) Procedures, specifically NDUS 1901.2 Computer and Network Usage and NDUS Data Classification and Information Technology Security Standards. For questions, concerns, or additional information, contact the UND IT Security Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org, UND Tech Support at http://und.edu/tech-support/ , or your local IT support personnel.
Protect Your Computer
- Use updated antivirus/antispyware software. Antivirus/Antispyware software protects your computer from viruses and spyware that can destroy your data, slow your computer's performance, cause a crash, or even allow spammers to send email through your computer. Antivirus/Antispyware software works by scanning your computer, web browsing activity, and your incoming email, and then warning you and/or deleting the malicious item. You need to make sure to keep your Antivirus/Antispyware software up to date with the latest signature files in order for it to be effective. Visit http://und.edu/tech-support/it-security/anti-virus.cfm for more information.
- Keep your operating system up-to-date. Operating systems should be set to automatically retrieve and install patches for you. Doing this will help to make sure your computer is not vulnerable to an attack.
- Keep your software up-to-date. Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that's an available option.
- Protect all devices that connect to the Internet. Computers, smart phones, and other web-enabled devices all need protection from viruses and malware.
- Enable your firewall. Firewalls help keep hackers from accessing your computer to delete information, to crash your computer, or to steal information without your permission. While antivirus software scans email and files, a firewall is like a guard, watching for outside attempts to access your system and blocking communications from and to sources you don't permit. Windows and Macintosh computers have built-in firewalls that you should verify are enabled.
- Plug and scan. USB and other external devices can be infected with viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.
Protect Your Data
- Don't store sensitive data on your personal devices. If your department has a file server available to you, store your data on these servers. Storing sensitive data on laptops, tablets, and smartphones is especially risky, since these devices are more likely to be lost or stolen. You should also identify and remove all unnecessary files from these devices, especially those files that contain SSN's, credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, research data, or other such confidential information.
- If you must store sensitive data on your computer or device, consider encrypting it. Talk to your local IT support personnel, or the IT Security Officer, about options (and risks) for encrypting data on your pc and mobile devices (like laptops, tablets, smartphones, and USB drives). Encryption is a method to transform your data so that it becomes unreadable by others, and only you have the key, typically a password, to make it readable again.
- Secure your accounts. Look for protection for your online accounts beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site.
- Make passwords long and strong. Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password. The longer the password, the better. Consider using a passphrase – a sentence of words (combining with numbers, symbols and uppercase letters makes them even stronger)
- Unique account, unique password. Using a different password for each of your important online accounts helps to thwart cybercriminals.
- Keep your passwords safe. Everyone can forget a password. Consider using a password safe, such as Password Safe, to securely store all of your passwords.
- Avoid suspicious links, email attachments, downloads, and websites. Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. Also, many websites contain malicious downloads or links to malicious content. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it's best to avoid it by not clicking or deleting. Consider using free safe-browsing tool such as McAfee SiteAdvisor or Web of Trust (WOT).
- Protect your finances. When banking and shopping, check to be sure the sites is security enabled. Look for web addresses with "https://" or "shttp://", which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. "http://" is not secure.