How to Practice Good Cyber Hygiene on Campus

Posted on 25 August 2016 |

cyber hygieneA new school year means a new opportunity to start fresh with your cyber hygiene. What is cyber hygiene? It’s basically steps you can take to keep your computer safe from from attacks. In this day and age, it’s essential to protect yourself online—especially when you deal with sensitive information at work.

When it comes to cybersecurity, IT isn’t the only department responsible for keeping your campus safe. Breaches happen due to technical issues such as the absence of:

  • AAA – Authentication, Authorization and Accounting
  • Access Controls – Data level and Function level Access Controls
  • Monitoring – Security Monitoring and Security Intelligence
  • Plan – Incident Response plan
  • Remediation – Vulnerability management
  • Managed Cyber Risks – Continued Risk assessments

But data breaches also happen for a very non-technical reason: humans. And that’s why everyone on campus is responsible for practicing good cyber hygiene.

To help, we’ve put together a short list of the things you can do this year to keep yourself—and your campus—safe.

4 Ways to Practice Good Cyber Hygiene

1. Steer Clear of Phishing Attempts

One of the most frequent cyberattacks is a phishing email. Cybercriminals send an email that looks legitimate, like it came from a trusted source, but in reality the email contains malware just waiting to infect your computer.

If something seems suspicious, such as grammar or a request to submit sensitive information, don’t open the email. Delete it and report to your IT department.

2. Create a Top Notch Password

How strong is your password? Does it include your name, pet’s name, birthdate or some other piece of easily identifiable information about yourself? Then, it’s definitely not strong enough.

Your password needs to:

  • Be comprised of random letters
  • Include a mix of capital and lowercase letters
  • Contain letters and special characters

And most importantly, you need to change it frequently.

3. Update Your Software

Has IT been trying to update your virus protection software, and you just don’t have the time? Well, it’s important to make the time. Every day the software you use could change and hackers are right on top of looking for vulnerabilities.

Make sure you update your computer when IT asks you. Also, stay vigilant and make sure you are proactively updating your software when it’s necessary.

4. Back Up Your Data

As ransomware attacks increase, so do the chances you will lose everything you have. Hackers install a virus on your computer to take over and lock you out. Typically, they will ask for money to release the lock. But if you give it to them, there’s no way to guarantee they will follow through.

The best thing you can do to protect your information is to back it up—every day.

Reach Everyone on Campus with Security Awareness Training

It’s one thing if you follow this advice, but it’s important for all faculty and staff on campus to double check their cyber hygiene. And to help teach them about best practices, they should be taking security awareness training.

To learn more about our security awareness training, schedule a demo today.

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