Safe Computing Practices & Tips



It has become more important than ever before to learn and know how to protect our devices and personal information while being connected to the Internet. The following suggestions are intended to help reduce this risk.



What are some safe computing practices that apply to anyone who uses a computer?



Beware of scams

  • Phishing scams are a constant threat - using various social engineering ploys, cyber criminals will attempt to trick you into divulging personal information such as your login ID and password, banking or credit card information.
  • They can be carried out by phone, text, or through social networking sites - but most commonly by email.
    Be suspicious of any official-looking email message or phone call that asks for personal or financial information.
  • Only click on links from trusted sources. Never click on an unfamiliar link unless you have a way to independently verify that it is safe. This includes tiny URL's and any link where you can't tell where it will take you.
  • If attachments or links in email are unexpected or suspicious for any reason, don't click on it.

Protect your Passwords

  • Never share your password with anyone and avoid writing them down. If you need to write them down, keep in a secure location.
  • Password protect all your devices and your information.
  • Don't use the same password for multiple accounts or devices.
  • General password tips to keep in mind:
    • At least 8 characters in length
    • Difficult to guess (e.g. don't include personal information such as your username, names of family members, places, birthdays, addresses, etc.)
    • Contain a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols
    • To help make it easy for you to remember- think of a passphrase instead of a password.

Protect your Computer

  • Make sure you have virus protection and it is up to date.
  • Shut down or restart your computer at least weekly.
  • Shut down or restart whenever your programs tell you to in order to install updates.
  • If you get an antivirus alert that there is malware or a virus on your computer, please contact HuskyTech for assistance.
  • Turn on Automatic Updates for your operating system.
  • Use web browsers such as Chrome or Firefox that receive frequent, automatic security updates.
  • Make sure to keep browser plug-ins (Flash, Java, etc.) up to date.

Protect Sensitive Data

  • Keep it off your workstation, laptop or other devices if at all possible.
  • Securely remove sensitive data files from your system when they are no longer needed.
  • Always use encryption when storing or transmitting sensitive data.

Protect information when using the Internet and email

  • Be careful what you do over wireless, especially if you're on public access wifi.
  • Information and passwords sent via standard unencrypted wireless can be easy for hackers to intercept. Most public access wireless is unencrypted.
  • Use only secure web pages when entering personal information online.
  • Look for https not http in the URL to indicate there is a secure connection.
  • Avoid unknown websites or downloading software from untrusted sources. These often contain malware that will automatically compromise your computer.
  • If there is an attachment or link in an email that is suspicious for any reason, don't click it.

Use mobile devices safely

  • Lock your device with a PIN or password - and never leave it unprotected in public.
  • Only install app's from trusted sources.
  • Keep your device's operating system updated.
  • Don't click on links or attachments from unsolicited emails or texts.
  • Avoid transmitting or storing personal information on the device.
  • Most handheld devices are capable of employing data encryption - consult your device's documentation for available options.
  • Use Apple's Find my iPhone or the Android Device Manager tools to help prevent loss or theft.

Back up your data

  • Back up your data on a regular basis
  • Make backup copies of files or data that is important to you.

Workstation Security

  • Shut down, lock, log off or put your computer/devices to sleep before leaving them unattended
  • Set your computer and portable devices to automatically lock when they're not being used.
  • Don't install or download unknown or unsolicited programs or apps to your computer or other devices.  These can contain behind the scenes viruses or open a back door giving others access to your device without your knowledge.
  • Secure your area before walking away
  • Lock up any portable equipment and sensitive material before you leave an area.
  • Never share any of your access codes, cards or keys.




Article ID: 117649
Mon 10/5/20 3:11 PM
Thu 7/1/21 9:45 AM

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Report an IT security issue or event such as phishing, virus, scams, suspected hacking of account, etc. For confidential matters, please submit a ticket for "Request IT Security Assistance for Confidential Matters".