6 Steps for Safe ComputingRequired1. Keep Your Operating System Up To Date2. Install and Update Anti-Virus Software3. Use Strong PasswordsStrongly Recommended1. Enable Firewall Protection2. Install and Use Spyware Removal Tools3. Back Up Important Files
Update your Operating System• Recent versions of Windows andMacintosh computers have automaticsoftware updates.• Configure your computer toautomatically download the latestpatches and updates.Most security issues are related to vulnerabilities in theOperating System. As these flaws are discovered,software companies release patches and updates toprotect you from security holes.
Install and Update Anti-virus SoftwareHow to Get Anti-virus software• Purchase commercial anti-virus software.• Free Windows version for home use byAvast, AVG, MSE etc.Keep the virus definitions up to date.If your computer is connected to the Internet or youshare files with anyone, you need anti-virussoftware !
Set Strong Passwords• Set Your Computer Password - Do not leave it blank• Password Tips– Never share your password.– Never write your password down.– Change your password periodically.• Creating a Strong Password– Passwords should be 7 characters or longer. The longer the better.– Passwords should contain at least one alpha character (a-z).– Passwords should contain at least one non-alpha character.– Do not choose passwords that contain personal information, like pet’s orchildren’s names.– Try using a pass phrase.For example, Hpatp0a = “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”.The easiest way to break into your computer is a weak or blankpassword. If your computer is compromised it can be used to attackother computers on campus or around the world.
Personal Firewall Protection• Enable Your Firewall Protection– Windows, Macintosh OS X (v. 10.2 and later), and Linuxhave built in firewall software.• Commercial Firewall Software– If you have an older Operating System or want a morerobust firewall, consider purchasing a commercial version.• Free Firewall Software for Windows– ZoneAlarm Firewall for Windows is available for free forindividual home use on your personal computer.A firewall can protect your computer against hackers and othersecurity attacks. The latest versions of Windows, Linux and theMacintosh operating systems have basic built in firewalls.
Spyware and How to Avoid It?• Spyware is often installed by you without yourknowledge by piggybacking on other software orby tricking you into installing it.• Some anti-virus software also has anti-spywarecapability.• Anti-spyware Recommendations for Windows– Adaware(http://www.lavasoftusa.com/default.shtml.en)– Spybot Search and Destroy(http://www.safer-networking.org/en/home/index.html)Spyware is software that is downloaded and installed ontoyour computer, often without your knowledge. Spywaremonitors and shares your information while you browse theInternet.
Back Up Important Files !• How Should I Back Up My Files?– Backup Software: Can be installed easily & regularbackup can be taken.– Back up to Web Files: SkyDrive has 25GB of space onCloud. Powered by Microsoft– Back up to CD or DVD Writers: All computers have abuilt in CD or DVD writer. Burning discs is easy andinexpensive.Since no system is completely secure, you should regularlyback up important files. This is also your best defenseagainst losing files to viruses, software or hardware failure,or the loss or theft of your computer.
Email Safety Tips1. Do not open unexpected attachments.2. Use Spam Filters3. Beware of Spoof Emails or Phishing.4. Don’t send sensitive data in email.5. Avoid clicking on links in the body of an emailmessage.While these links may not be a phishing attempt, they may not go to the site youintend. Unless you are completely comfortable that the email is legitimate, it isbest to copy and paste the link or type it in directly in your browser.
Spoof Email (Phishing)Phishing emails are an attempt by thieves to lure you intodivulging personal and financial information, for their profit.
Spoof Email (Phishing)6 Ways to Recognize Phishing1. Generic GreetingFor example, “Dear Customer”.2. Sense of urgency.May include an urgent warning requiring immediate action.3. Account status threat.May include a warning that your account will be terminated unlessyou reply.4. Forged email address.The sender’s email address may be forged, even if it lookslegitimate.5. Forged links to Web sites.There is often a link to a Website to “fix” the problem. These areusually forged.6. Requests for personal information.Asking for login and password info, either in email or via the link.