Communication & Social Network Awareness

Please review our tips for Communication & Social Network Awareness below to learn ways to help secure your digital life:

1. Remember that whatever you put on the internet, stays on the internet. 

  • This includes photos, videos, posts on social networking sites, comments, anything and everything.  Nothing is temporary, and rarely is anything truly anonymous.

 2. Be wary of attachments in emails, even from trusted senders. 

  • If you weren’t expecting an attachment, or if the email doesn’t call for one in a way that makes sense, don’t open it.
  • If you’re not sure about an attachment from a trusted sender, reply asking them.  Sometimes malware can send malicious emails from the accounts of people you know, without their knowledge, so it’s always a good idea to double-check with the senders themselves if you’re not sure.

3. Never offer personal information across emails, regardless of the sender. 

  • If an email is asking for a password or other personal information, never give it; instead check with the sender if they are trusted, or contact them by other means first for verification.  Just because someone says they are “from IT” does not mean it is true.
  • Even reputable businesses such as PayPal or Bank of America can be target for phishing scams, often with very convincing-looking emails complete with accurate logos and graphics.  Use common sense and do not give information that you wouldn’t normally share.
  • If you suspect a phishing attempt, or are unsure of whether a request for information is legitimate or appropriate, call the Service Desk.

4. Be wary of re-directions from search engines or other sources; if you are expecting to arrive at one website and end up at another, back up and make sure you are not being redirected.  

  • Watch your browser’s address bar (where you type the website you intend to go to) and see if it flashes a different address quickly, then another, before bringing you to the page.  This could be signs of unwanted redirection.  As always, when in doubt, close your browser.
  • There is a de facto standard among web browsers to display a lock icon somewhere in the window of the browser (NOT in the web page display area) that lets you know the web page is secure.
    • The lock icon is not just a picture. Click (or double-click) on it to see details of the site's security.  This is important to know because some fraudulent web sites are built with a bar at the bottom of the web page to imitate the lock icon of your browser.

 5. Be careful when posting to social networking sites. 

  • Be aware that whatever you post on Facebook, Twitter, etc. will stay there forever, and is potentially available for viewing by the public at large, including people you may not want to see it, such as family, future employers, etc.

6. Never use your Stonehill email address to sign up for external websites or accounts, such as social networking sites like Tumblr, Pinterest, LiveJournal, etc. 

  • Always try to keep your Stonehill email separate from your personal online life; use another personal email account like Yahoo or Gmail to sign up for external website accounts.  Doing otherwise can potentially open your Stonehill email up to compromise by phishing attempts and junk mail.

 7. Never use your Stonehill password for anything other than your Stonehill account. 

  • Never use the same password for multiple accounts, especially critical personal accounts like online banking, credit cards, and online merchants that handle your money like Amazon, Paypal, etc.