How can I protect myself when using computers or the Internet?

Here are some general guidelines to follow that will reduce your risk when using computers and the Internet:

  • Be alert for phishing and other email related scams. See the Phishing FAQ for more details
  • Use a different password for every account. If you reuse the same password then an attacker who compromises one service you use, or an unscrupulous administrator of that service, can use that password to break into your other accounts.
  • Ensure your operating system and all installed software is still supported by the developer and that security updates are being released.
  • Apply updates to your operating system and all installed software regularly. Consider enabling automatic software updates.
  • Install and maintain anti-virus software. The SSU IT Malware: Viruses, Trojans, and Spyware page has instructions as well as some recommendations on anti-virus software.
  • Do not leave your computer, phone, tablet, or storage devices unattended in a public setting.
  • Use full disk encryption on devices containing sensitive information.
  • Configure screen locking features to protect your computer when you are not using it.