National Cyber Security Awareness month is here!

 

National Cyber Security Awareness month is here!

As National Cyber Security Awareness month rolls around again, the University IT Security Office is coordinating several events on campus and continuing our annual contest, where you could win an iPad or a Nexus tablet.  First, take our IT security quiz. You will also have to complete two other tasks to be entered to win. We’ll include those in future blog posts.

 

This year we will sponsor a panel discussion of data security topics for international travelers – do you know how to ensure that your personal data and the Duke data you have access to are protected when you’re abroad?

 

We’re also sponsoring a lunch and learn session on mobile applications and one about password management, and several computer health checks on campus. For details, see the Duke events calendar (http://calendar.duke.edu/events/) or the ITSO events page (https://security.duke.edu/it-security-events).

 

On the topic of computer health, too often we don't think about our systems’ health until it is too late and we have malware on our computer, we lose our important data, or our computer has become part of a botnet.  Here are a few preventative maintenance tips and resources to help you protect your personal computer:

 

1.  Patch your operating system.

  • For Windows 7: Click on the Start Button -> All Programs -> Windows Update
  • For Apple OS X: Click on the Apple in the top left corner -> Software Update

2.  Patch your applications.

  • For Windows: Go to http://software.informer.com and download and install Software Informer.  This will scan your system for missing patches and update them for you.
  • For Apple OS X: Go to http://mac.informer.com and download and install Mac Informer, which will also scan your system for missing patches.

3. Install an antivirus client on your computer.

4. Turn on your personal firewall.

  • For Windows 7: Click on the Start Button -> Control Panel -> Windows Firewall
  • For Apple OS X: Click on System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Firewall

5. Secure your browser

  • For Google Chrome and Firefox users, install Adblock and Web of Trust (more advanced users might consider installing noscript)
  • Be careful about clicking on links!  The most important component of browser security is YOU.

6. Make sure that your computer is password protected.

  • For Windows 7: Click on the Start Button -> Control Panel -> User Accounts, and select "change your password"
  • For Apple OS X: Click on System Preferences -> Users and Groups, and select "change your password" 

7. Make a good backup of your system.  Windows 7 and Apple OSX have built in back up utilities, and there are a number of low-cost online options.

  • For Windows 7: Click on the Start Button -> All Programs -> Maintenance -> Backup and Restore
  • For Apple OS X: Click on System Preferences -> Time Machine
  • Cloud Options include: CrashPlan (http://www.crashplan.com). and Mozy (http://www.mozy.com)

 

See http://tiny.cc/Computer-Hygiene-Tips for more great information on protecting your computer.