Lubbock IT Alert: 'Tis the Season. . . A Reminder to Practice Safe Computing Around the Holidays
The holiday shopping season is a prime time for identity theft and online criminal activity, so the TTU IT Division recommends that you be vigilant and practice safe computing during this festive season:
- Avoid phishing schemes by being careful about clicking the links in emails, including holiday savings advertisements unless you are sure they are from a reputable retailer;
- Beware of fake charities that use current national or world events to prey on the unsuspecting;
- Keep your mobile devices close to you and don't leave them unattended, and be sure to password-protect your device, keeping it locked when not in use. A stolen smart phone may provide a criminal access to your credit card and bank account information, and to other online accounts and apps;
- Don't install apps unless they are provided by a recognized and reputable app store;
- Beware of eCards and other attachments in email. Opening an unexpected attachment can infect your devices;
- Avoid public WiFi for conducting personal business on your mobile device. Public WiFi access is not secure and hackers can see what you are doing online, including your usernames and passwords;
- Keep your operating systems and apps updated;
- Install security software on your home and mobile devices whenever possible;
- Don't post your holiday trip pictures to social media while away from home. This lets potential criminals know that your home is unoccupied;
- Monitor your bank and credit card statements carefully for unknown charges that might be the result of internet criminals; and,
- To prevent criminals from accessing your home systems such as home wireless, surveillance cameras, and security systems, change the default password on these systems.
For more safe computing information, please visit our Lubbock Safe Computing site..
For more safe computing information please contact IT Help Central at (806)742-HELP (4357).
Welcome to Safe Computing
You know who you are... who else does?
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifiable information (PII) without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.
Follow the link below to understand more about:
- How identity thieves use a variety of methods to steal your identity
- How to Protect your identity
- Common Consumer Mistakes
- Reporting Suspect Identity Theft
- Tips for Shopping Online
Securing access to your electronic information... PRICELESS
Your passwords are the electronic equivalent to the locks on your house. Developing strong passwords will keep your personal information and identity more secure. These are suggestions for creating heavy-duty passwords:
- Use at least eight characters with a mix of numbers, letters, and special characters (!,@,#, etc);
- Substitute numbers for letters in a word or phrase that you will remember;
- Do not use the same password for all your professional and personal business; and
- Remember to change your password regularly.
The Importance of One: Security Starts with You
As a computer user your important sensitive data and computer is being exposed to attacks which may lead to loss of data efforts and time. Understanding the causes will help you to prevent and fix these infections in your computer.
The various ways your computer could be infected are by:
- Trojan Horses
Reach out with caution
Knowing how to recognize email fraud and educating yourself about current hoaxes and scams can help you avoid becoming a victim.
Understand the following to prevent Email Frauds:
- Recognizing Online Scams and Fraud
- Common Hoaxes and Scams
- E-mail Spoofing
- Recommended Practices
- Email Password Tips
Private Eyes: Who is watching you online?
Spyware is software written specifically to obtain personal information from your computer. In the process, spyware can destroy your data, steal confidential information, and create unneeded hassle.
Follow the link below to understand more about:
- How Spyware Invades
- Recognizing and Removing Spyware
- Common Spyware Methods
- Common Spyware Traps
Safe Computing on the Go
Laptops, smartphones, and tablets provide convenience and mobility in our business and personal world today. If your device is stolen, you could lose more than an expensive piece of equipment, you could lose your identity and personal security.
Keep these tips in mind when using your mobile devices:
- Use a startup PIN or password to protect your device.
- Encrypt any confidential business information stored on the device.
- Consider subscribing to a “data wipe service” to protect your information in the event your device is lost or stolen
Social networking tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are a great way to share information and keep in touch. Unfortunately, like other emerging technologies, social networking sites have become easy targets for Internet criminals
Keep these tips in mind when using social networking sites:
- Carefully guard your private information.
- Don’t allow public access to your information on social networking site.
- Think before posting photos or making comments.
- Check comments regularly and delete those that are offensive.
Just because you own a copy, does not mean you own the copyright.
Copyright infringement, or piracy, is the unauthorized, unlawful copying and use of literature, software, video games, movies, or music. Copyright law gives the creator the sole authority to reproduce or distribute the created work.
Visit these resources for additional information:
- Federal Copyright Reference
- Texas Tech Copyright Reference.
- DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act).
The TTU Office of the CIO developed the Safe Computing Practices Campaign for Texas Tech University and the surrounding communities to raise awareness and promote education. Our goal is to empower people with knowledge and tools to combat Internet-based security threats.
We welcome your suggestions and ideas as we reach out to the TTU community and the Lubbock area.