Secure Computing at Work

Always Lock Your Computer

When you step out of your work area, if only for a minute, lock your computer.  If you lock your computer, you can ensure that no one has accessed your e-mail and other work files while you were away.

Do Not Share Your Passwords

Never give your password out to anyone, including your IT staff. Your IT staff should not need your password to assist you. If you give your password out, you are giving someone complete access to your account, including e-mail, work files and other personal data.  In addition, do not write down your passwords and place them on or around your workspace – if you must write down your passwords, keep them stored in a physically secure location.

Encrypt Sensitive Information

If you have information that needs to be protected, encrypt it. Applications that "zip" files usually offer the option of adding a password. If you are using an external hard drive or USB flash drive, make sure that encryption is being used – the helpdesk can assist with this task.  Lastly, if you need to send sensitive information across e-mail, encrypt the message by beginning your subject line with the word encrypt.

Use Caution When Sending Sensitive Information

Before you send sensitive information to someone, make sure that all affected parties understand the risks involved – the sender, the recipient and the owner of the data.  Ensure that the recipient is a trusted individual and that you have encrypted the sensitive information prior to sending it.

Frequently Save Important Files

All users’ Desktop and Documents folders are backed up by the IT Department on a nightly basis, however, the information being backed up is only as good as most recent version of the documents, spreadsheets, photos and other files currently saved in these locations.  To avoid any potential data loss in the event of a computer failure, save your files often.