Basic Computing Safety Practices
This basic information will help you when it comes to using your computer from day to day. This will help protect you from many of the most common computer problems such as data loss, virus infection, and even identity theft.
Keep Up-to-Date on Critical System Updates!
Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X users need to be sure to install updates for their computers on a regular basis. This can help protect you from problems with your computer and some virus attacks.
- Windows Users: More information on Automatic Updates
- Mac Users: Use Software Update in System Preferences
Keep Up-to-Date on Software Updates!
Microsoft Office periodically provides patches to keep your software up-to-date. For other software, be sure and check the manufacturer's web site.
Get (and Use) an Antivirus Program!
Viruses are everywhere. Protect yourself! Programs such as Symantec AntiVirus and McAfee Virus Scan can remove viruses and even prevent you from getting one. Also make sure you update your virus definitions often!
Don't Rely Solely on Floppy Disks for Saving Your Data
Floppy disks are an unreliable storage device. They are cheap and highly susceptible to damage from spills, dust, heat, fingerprints, moisture, magnetic fields, and age. At some point, all floppy disks will fail. If your disk fails, you may LOSE all of the information on the disk (trust us; it happens all the time). NEVER use a floppy disk to store the ONLY copy of a file.
- Always save at least 2 copies of every file in different locations. This is the ONLY way to truly protect yourself from losing your important files.
Save Your Files Often
You never know what can happen with a computer. The computer could freeze, the program could unexpectedly turn off, or the power could go out. Save the files you are working on often, and save them immediately after you begin working on them.
If you have saved the file once, this allows some programs to save automatically, or to recover your file if there is a problem.
Don't Give Out Your Username or Password
Your username and password, whether it be for eRaider or Hotmail or some other web site, should never be available to anyone but you. NEVER give out your username and password for any Web site.
Giving out your information could lead to identity theft, which can have serious repercussions.
Be Sure to Logout When Using Public Computers
A public computer is one that you do not own or is accessible by many different people, such as those located in the Library or any of the various computer labs across campus. Anytime you use a public computer, be sure you log out of any web sites you logged in to, and even the computer (if you were required to log in to use the machine).
If you don't log out, someone else can use the computer, have access to your information, and even impersonate YOU.