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General rules of safe computing

It is important for us all to make sure that we “protect our data”. Not only from a security point of view but a personal one. No one wants to have to redo any work because they haven’t saved it on a safe medium.

Things to consider:

Always keep your passwords a secret and make it routine to change your password making it more difficult for others to guess.
If at all possible chose passwords that are alphanumeric as they are much harder to guess.
When away from your workstation always “lock your workstation” this prevents any passers by from using your account. For malicious reasons or others. Be aware that all activity is logged on your account and any logs can be looked at by ITSS.
Always “Save as you go” this then covers you for unexpected technical difficulties on the network or power cuts as you won’t then lose a whole document maybe only a few lines. Set up “Auto-Save” this can be done in word and other office products.
Always make a back up of your work whether it be on a CD, memory stick, cloud based storage solution (sky drive, google drive, drop box and the like) or by emailing it to yourself. This covers you for any unforeseen problems that may occur on the network. Don't use USB sticks as your only source of storage, all too often students save their whole years worth of assignments to their USB stick, only for their USB stick to become damaged or corrupted. Please make sure you save your work to your h drive in the first instance (this is backed up regularly by our network administrators)
Be vigilant when opening email attachments, especially from sources you do not know. Be extremely wary of attachments with the file extensions .exe, .vbs, .bat, and .com as these can carry malicious viruses that will be launched upon opening. If in doubt – don’t open it!

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Article created on 02/10/2004
Article last modified on 28/01/2014

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