ITS

Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

 

MyIT:  How Can I Protect Myself?

In our increasingly connected world of social media, cloud computing and mobile data, we need to be vigilant more than ever. There are very simple things that each of us can do to keep ourselves safe online - such as creating a strong password and changing it regularly and by following the Best Practices on our website. You can do this at work, at home or on your mobile device. It’s easy to be cyber savvy!

Why Am I Targeted?

You may be asking why you might be targeted by a hacker. Perhaps you feel like your information isn't all that valuable. But you do have something that they don't have - you have access to the network of a university institution, where tons of information is stored - personnel records, research data, patient records. All of these things come with potentially big payouts - access to your personal information could mean access to your banking information, your university data, your social insurance number, and more. That's why it's so important to keep your information secure online. It is also important to keep in mind that information can be retrieved now and used months or years down the road. 

Security Tips

Help promote a safer internet! Take the following security precautions and enjoy the conveniences of technology with peace of mind while you are on the go.

  1. Install operating system updates for all your devices as soon as they are available.
    Keeping the programs and apps on your devices up to date will prevent attackers from being able to take advantage of known vulnerabilities. If the IT Support Centre becomes aware of major vulnerabilities, they will be posted through the Notification Tool.
  2. Keep your browsers up to date and check your privacy settings. 
    Don't save passwords in your browser and don't allow automatic downloads. Many apps on mobile devices request permission to access your personal information. Pay attention to what access you are granting to your devices.
  3. Be mindful of what you post online.
    Are you using social media?  It’s important not to post everything about your activities publicly. A savvy cyber thief might track your location, knowing where you are, what you’re doing and be able to connect with you by documenting your habits. If they know personal information about you, they can use social engineering to get more information from you.
  4. Watch for pop-ups.
    While most of the ads may be harmless, beware of scams offering “deals” or petitions that request your personal information. Also beware of pop up ads that indicate your computer is infected by a virus. Clicking on the pop-up may actually cause the virus to download.
  5. Use strong passwords.
    Once your password is retrieved, someone can log into your accounts and, if you’ve used the same password more than once, they can access multiple accounts. At that point, they can change your payroll information so your paycheck goes elsewhere and they can change your address information. If they can save your profile picture from social media and they have access to your accounts, they can essentially become you on the internet. Using biometrics such as fingerprint or facial recognition or adding two-step verification to your accounts makes your accounts even more secure. Use different passwords for each site. Keeping your passwords in a password manager can help you store your passwords.
  6. Use an anti-virus program and keep it updated.
    Viruses are one of the most common and well-known forms of malware that attack computers. Ensuring you are protected by running anti-virus software can detect and identify a virus in your system. Keeping your anti-virus software up to date is important as new viruses are created all the time.
  7. Be vigilant for phishing attempts.
    Be suspicious of emails requesting your personal information, especially if the message appeals to your fear response to take immediate action. If the email looks suspicious, you should always contact your school, bank or government agency by a different means of communication (for example, calling your local bank branch or, if it is relates to Queen’s, call the IT Support Centre by telephone).

Security Best Practices

How secure are you? We live in a digital world. Mobile phones, tablets and laptops continue to provide us with the opportunity to work "on the go," but this added convenience could also mean more risk. These personal devices are making it easier to store and access information, but they are also easy to steal or misplace.

Check out the following security and safe computing Best Practices:

Mobile Device Social Networking Strong Passwords Cyber Tips Encryption

Test your knowledge!

Myth or Fact?

There is no difference between anti-virus and anti-malware.

Encryption protects sensitive information.

FACT.

Banking and shopping online is safe.

IT DEPENDS - if the site is reputable.

Did you know ...

If your social networks are compromised, the privacy of your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other accounts could be affected.

Last Updated: October 6, 2016

Phishing

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Cyber Security

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Malware

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Social Media

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