Common Sense Tips for Protecting Yourself and Your Information
Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and it is vitally important to be mindful we are all targets and that no one is “under the radar”. The Texas A&M System and its members encourage you to STOP.THINK.CONNECT.
Texas A&M has put together a simple set of ideas for you to stay safe and to protect yourself on-line. It’s really easy and you only need to remember these six steps:
STEP ONE—Make Sure Your Computer Has Security Software and that it’s Up-To-Date . In most cases, your operating system (usually Microsoft windows or Apple OS X) will have its own security software. MAKE SURE IT IS ENABLED AND UP TO DATE. The bad guys love to take advantage of old security software.
STEP TWO—Don’t Download Unfamiliar Software Off The Internet! Many downloads that sound great–music services, editing programs, even security software are BAD FOR YOUR COMPUTER AND BAD FOR YOUR CREDIT CARD!
STEP THREE—Beware of Clicking on Random Links! Usually, your security software will protect you against harmful links, BUT NOT ALWAYS. ONLY CLICK ON LINKS YOU’RE SURE ABOUT. If it looks like a strange link that doesn’t go with the subject of the e-mail or with the text on the page, don’t click on it.
STEP FOUR—Change Your Password Frequently and NEVER Share Passwords! Your friends won’t treat it as carefully as you would. IF YOU DO GIVE OUT YOUR PASSWORD, MAKE SURE YOU CHANGE IT AFTERWARDS. WE NEVER RECOMMEND SHARING PASSWORDS.
STEP FIVE—Always Log Off Or Restart When You’ve Finished! Leaving your computer on and connected to the Internet is like leaving your door unlocked. Plus, re-starting allows your security system to install crucial updates to guard against the latest viruses, spyware and malware. And remember—NEVER LEAVE A COMPUTER RUNNING WHEN YOU’RE FINISHED! ALWAYS LOG OFF!
STEP SIX—Backup Your Data! Don’t just back up your data and documents occasionally. The best way to back up data is on a separate drive or in the cloud. That way, if your hard drive crashes–and you should assume that one day it probably will—YOU WON’T LOSE EVERYTHING YOU’VE WORKED FOR.
If you have any questions regarding security or see something suspicious, contact your local Information Security Officer. They can be found on the main page of your University or member’s website.
- Internet Storm Center
- Department of Homeland Security
- Internet Crime Complaint Center
- Texas A&M IT Security Site
- NCSAM Resource Kit
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