Computer Security Tips for Students
Your computer is a most crucial asset as you attend school. GCU’s IT department wants to make sure you keep your computer, and yourself, protected from the hazards of being online.
The following tips will help you keep your computer running and your personal information safe.
Protect your computer
- Always run your computer with updated antivirus software installed.
- Confirm the source before you open file attachments from unsolicited emails or IMs.
- Turn off file and print sharing.
- Back up your computer regularly and keep applications and operating systems updated.
- Log off, lock your screen, or use a password-activated screensavers when stepping away from your computer.
- Protect your login information (e.g., passwords) from other students or GCU staff.
Protect your info
- Do not send private information (e.g., SSN, credit card #, passwords, etc.) over email, or instant messaging (AOL, MSN, Yahoo, etc.)
- Only input private information in web sites that have a secure connection. Look for a lock on the bottom right corner of your browser or check for “https” in the prefix of the web page address.
- Use strong passwords. A strong password has at least eight characters, uses a combination of numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and uses at least one special character (such as !@#$%^&*).
- Download programs, applets and images from reliable and known sources only; otherwise, you might be downloading Trojans or viruses with it.
- Limit the amount of private information such as social security number, income tax records, credit card numbers, and banking information that you store on your computer. If your computer is lost or stolen, this can be valuable information.
- Limit the amount of personal information you post when using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Do not allow Internet Explorer or other browsers to store passwords for you. Stored passwords allow anyone who can access your machine to log in to your web accounts as you. In addition, numerous utilities can expose this hidden information and actually reveal the password. If you have reused that password for other logins, many systems or web sites could be compromised.
For computer related support, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at http:\\help.gcu.edu or 602.639.7700.