Computer & Mobile Device Security

Desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones enable us to get information on the go. We no longer have to be tethered to our desks to check our email, surf the web, or access files and information. Advances in wireless communication have made communication mobile, but also made it easier for the unscrupulous to access our personal information. Unless you secure your devices against loss, theft and unauthorized access, you are vulnerable.

Please review our Tips for Good Computer and Mobile Security below:

1. Use a password to protect all your devices

  • Choose a strong a password, use different passwords for different devices.

2. Log off, lock or shut down, your devices  before leaving them unattended.

  • Press the Ctrl-Alt-Delete or Windows-L keys simultaneously on a PC; Apple menu or power button on a Mac to log off, shut down, restart or to put your computer to sleep.
  • Set your computer and portable devices to automatically lock when they're not being used.
  • Shut down your office computer at the end of each work day to ensure cyber security as well as to save energy and prevent failures from power disruptions.  Additionally, restarting helps to make sure software and security updates are properly installed.

3. Secure laptop computers and mobile devices at all times: Lock them up or carry them with you.

  • In your office or dorm room, at coffee shops, meetings, conferences, etc. - Remember: Phones and laptops get stolen from cars, houses, and offices all the time.
  • Make sure it is locked to or in something permanent.
  • Laptop lockdown cables are available at most computer or office supply stores.

4. Make sure your computer is protected with anti-virus and all necessary security "patches" and updates.

  • When prompted to run a software update, please don't postpone it.
  • Be sure to run your anti-virus scan if and when you suspect a problem.

5. Don't install or download unknown or unsolicited programs to your devices.

  • These can harbor behind-the-scenes computer viruses or open a "back door" giving others access to your computer without your knowledge.

6. Evaluate your security settings.

  • Most software, including browsers and email programs, offers a variety of features that you can tailor to meet your needs and requirements.
  • Enabling certain features to increase convenience or functionality may leave you more vulnerable to being attacked.
  • It is important to examine the settings, particularly the security settings, and select options that meet your needs without putting you at increased risk.

7. Make backup copies of files or data you are not willing to lose -- and store the copies securely.

  • Whether or not you take steps to protect yourself, there will always be a possibility that something will happen to destroy your data. Regularly backing up your data on a network share or a portable device reduces the stress and other negative consequences that result from losing important information.
  • If your mobile device is stolen, it's bad enough that someone else may be able to access your information. To avoid losing all of the information, make backups of important information and store the backups in a separate location.

8. Configure mobile devices securely.

  • Enable auto-lock.
  • Enable password protection and require complex passwords.
  • Avoid using auto-complete features that remember user names or passwords.
  • Ensure that browser security settings are configured appropriately.
  • Enable remote wipe.
  • Ensure that SSL protection is enabled, if available.

9. Always make sure to lock any device (computer, cell phone, tablet, etc.) if you will be away from it for any period of time.

  • If a device is left unattended, data and account information can easily be accessed and stolen.

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