UNH CIS Signals

Top 10 Cyber Security Tips

Jason Boucher

October, 2008

Top 10Use the following 10 cyber security tips to ensure that you are doing your best to safeguard your identity and your computer.

Password Protect Your Computer

Not having a password on your computer is an open invitation to identity thieves and hackers. A common practice for such criminals is to scan computers on a network, looking for those left unprotected. Unprotected computers left running on UNH’s network create a constantly open door to such attacks. Information on creating a strong password can be found by going to cis.unh.edu and searching for “strong passwords.”

Install Anti-Virus Software

Keep your computer running fast and free of viruses and spyware. Make sure to protect your computer by installing Anti-Virus software. UNH offers free licenses of McAfee VirusScan to all faculty, staff, and students. Visit virus.unh.edu to read more and download McAfee.

Keep Your Computer Up-To-Date

Windows users, make sure to stay up-to-date with all the required and available updates for you computer. Mark your calendar to update your computer at least monthly. Visit microsoft.com/downloads or select Microsoft Update from the Tools menu of Internet Explorer.

Mac users: choose Software Update from the Apple menu for any available updates.

Activate Spam Filtering

E-mail spam is often full of malware, spyware, and viruses. UNH offers Spam Assassin, which is a free, easy to install program that helps eliminate spam from your Inbox. Please visit cis.unh.edu/email for more information.

Be Aware of the Dangers of File Sharing Programs

Many file sharing programs contain and unleash viruses and spyware onto your computer when connected.

Illegally downloading/sharing copyrighted materials puts you at even more of a risk, as you are breaking the law. Review pipeline.unh.edu/spring07/riaa.html for more information.

Use Screen Locks/Logout

To maximize the potential of your computer’s strong password remember to lock the screen or logout before you leave your computer unattended.

Use a Firewall

A firewall helps prevent unauthorized access to your computer. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software environments, most Microsoft Windows systems offer a built-in firewall, which is available through the Control Panel.

Responsibly Use Facebook, MySpace, and Any Social Networking Application

By now, most of us are familiar with Facebook or MySpace. Remember, the Internet is a large, open area where anyone can access information. Before posting personal information on Facebook or MySpace, give it the “Grandma Test.” Don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t want your Grandmother to see. Visit saveface.unh.edu/facebook for more information.

Using Google to Research Questionable Programs/Files

Sometimes we come across programs we don’t remember installing. Before you delete a file or program thinking it might be spyware, use Google to search for information about a questionable item. This can help you find out if the item is spyware or if it’s a legitimate piece of software.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Virtual Private Networks help to encrypt sensitive data. Many UNH resources and administrative applications require a VPN for access and additional safety. The Web VPN is also a great tool for anyone to use when off campus. Visit vpn.unh.edu for more information and to access the Web VPN.

For more information or help with these tips please contact the CIS Help Desk at 862-4242.