Keep it secret! Keep it safe!

What you do online has the potential to affect everyone – at home, at work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community. – StaySafeOnline

Any computer or device that you use to access a UALR system that contains private data should be as secure as you can make it. There are a few straightforward actions you can take right now to help create an environment where you may work with private data without fear of it being easily exposed.

1Change your password to something secure that you do not use anywhere else.
If you only have a single account, make sure that password is strong and longer than normal. If you have more than one account, don’t use the same password for your less critical account that you use for accessing your more critical account. If someone discovers your password on a less critical service, you want to minimize the harm that can cause.
2Install anti-virus software.
Anti-virus software will do more than just scan your hard drive once a day to see if anything threatening has been installed. It can also actively scan every file you download or device you connect for malicious software or vulnerabilities, immediately blocking that data from making it onto your computer without your knowledge.
IT Services provides Kaspersky Anti-Virus software for use by university employees. Contact us for assistance installing anti-virus software on your computers.
3Update your software.
Your security is only as strong as the weakest link in your digital environment, so keeping every piece of software on your computer up-to-date with security patches and software updates is paramount.
Our support technicians would be happy to help you install the latest and most secure versions of software; contact us for more information!
4Be wary of suspicious emails asking for your passwords.
The act of sending out emails or links that masquerade as official notices or queries is known as phishing. Providing your personal information to someone else may result in your accounts or computers being compromised.
If you receive a suspicious email, check to see if that email has already been reported on the suspicious email alerts site. If it hasn’t, follow the instructions on that site to report the email to IT Services and we will investigate it.
5Take extra caution when storing sensitive data on external devices.
External devices such as USB flash drives or backup hard disk drives are often not encrypted, and so do not have the inherent access control that exists in a database or on a shared network drive. Many external devices are about as secure as a piece of paper left out on a desk or thrown away in the trash. If you need to transport data on a physical device, consider the use (and vulnerabilities) of secure USB drives.
6Review the issues and best practices surrounding data privacy and security.
Stay informed! Valuable resources include

Help us help you

If we work together, we can better prevent privacy and security breaches that put our students and ourselves at risk for identity fraud and legal action. If you have any concerns about whether or not your computer contains private data, or if you wish to provide feedback about data privacy and security at UALR, contact IT Services for assistance.

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