Cyber Security: STOP.THINK.CONNECT.

Christine Fitzgerald
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 11:00am

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month and Tufts Technology Services (TTS) would like to remind the Tufts community that the best protection against all cyber security threats is to be educated and aware. It is the collective responsibility of all Tufts faculty, staff, and students to protect themselves and each other by making informed choices when connected to the Tufts network or using the Internet.

Why is Cyber Security Awareness Important?

Good security practices benefit you, the Tufts community and everyone using the Internet. Take a minute to:

STOP: Educate yourself on cyber security before using the Internet.
THINK: Is this a legitimate link or attachment?
CONNECT: Browse the Internet knowing that you’re wiser, safer, and less vulnerable because of the steps you’ve just taken. 

Listed below are of some simple steps you can take to protect you and the larger Tufts community from cyber threats:

Protect your passwords.
Don’t share your passwords with colleagues or friends and never use the same passwords on multiple accounts. 

Keep your computer updated.
Set up your computer for automatic software and operating system updates. Out-of-date software is more likely to have vulnerabilities that can be exploited and hacked.

Install protective software.
Tufts regularly updates antivirus software on university-managed computers, but it’s also important to keep your personal computer and mobile devices covered with current antivirus software.   

Backup your computer.
The ability to restore your computer from a recent backup can make recovery from a virus or malware intrusion much easier. Keep a few months' worth of backups and make sure the files can be retrieved if needed. 

Control access to your machine.
Don't leave your computer in an unsecured area or unattended and logged on, especially in public places. Never bank or share personal information when connected to public unsecured wi-fi. 

Use email and the Internet safely.
Ignore unsolicited emails and be wary of attachments, links and forms in emails that come from people you don't know. Avoid untrustworthy (often free) downloads from freeware or shareware sites. 

Most importantly, stay informed.
Stay current with the latest technology developments and current threats by subscribing to weekly email updates from industry leaders, such as McAfee and Symantec, or periodically review the online Tech news posted by one of the major news services. 

The following is the first in a series of articles about cyber security that will appear in this space during the month of October.

Passwords

It is up to you to keep them private and your data safe. Here are few things to keep in mind:

  • Don't re-use important passwords.
    Never use passwords between multiple accounts and especially not between personal and work accounts, such as your bank account and your Tufts Username/Tufts Password pair.
  • Never share passwords or accounts.
    Never tell anyone your password, including friends, colleagues, system administrators, and account managers. Do not give colleagues or other employees to access your Tufts user accounts under any circumstance. TTS employees will never ask you to provide your password via phone, email, or in person.

  • Protect your password.
    Lock your screen or log out when stepping away from a computer, especially in a public area, and ignore requests by websites or browsers to "remember" your password.

Tufts Technology Services is committed to providing the most secure computing environment possible. If you have questions about information security at Tufts, please visit the Information Security section of this site or send email to information-security@tufts.edu

Cyber Security Resources

Educause Library - Security Awareness Tools
Cyber Security tips from Mass.gov
Staysafeonline.org
STOP.THINK.CONNECT