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Back to School Tips

tipsWe are now in the back to school season so I wanted to list some tips as reminders of things we all can do to help protect our devices and information.

1.  Keep your devices with you

Take your laptop and other devices with you, even if you intend to be right back.  Unattended laptops in public places such as coffee shops, libraries, and study lounges are an invitation for theft or unwanted access to your information.

2. Verify links before clicking on them

Be cautious of QR codes and shortened URLs.  Make sure you verify and trust the links they are sending you to.

3.  Protect your passwords

Never share your passwords with anyone.  Use passwords that cannot be easily guessed and change them often.

4.  Secure your mobile devices

Use passwords and PINs to secure your devices to protect your information if they are lost or stolen.  Also, lock your devices when you are not using them.

5.  Keep your software up to date

Stay up to date with the latest OS and applications updates to stay protected against known vulnerabilities.

6.  Be aware of phishing emails

Do not trust unsolicited emails that contain attachments or links.  Even if you know the sender, call them to ask if they actually sent the email.

7.  Use the privacy settings on social networks

Remember that what you post online stays online forever so protect your reputation on social networks.  Stop and think before you post messages and pictures.  What if your family or current/future employer saw them?

8. Protect printed sensitive information

Do not leave papers that contain sensitive information such as social security numbers, financial information, passwords, and PINs lying around.  If you no longer need the papers, shred them.  If you still need them make sure they are locked away.

9.  Shop online cautiously

Whether you are buying textbooks, the latest gadgets, or a ticket to home for the holidays, limit online shopping to merchants you know and trust.  Look for https in the URL before submitting payment information.

10.  Check statements carefully

Keep track of purchases made by checking your bank and credit card statements regularly.  If there are charges you did not make, report it immediately.

 

Previous post:  Public Wi-Fi safety

Christina Bonds

Christina Bonds is an Application Specialist in the Web Technology department at Elon University.

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