Cyber Strong Workplace

September 29, 2016


All organizations – from large and small businesses to healthcare providers, academic institutions, and government agencies – can experience data breaches or be targets of cybercrime, which can result in stolen intellectual property, theft of personal identity information (PII) or if our critical infrastructure is attacked, a disruption to the way we do business. This week of National Cyber Security Awareness Month focuses on ways to help create good cybersecurity awareness in the workplace.

Use Secure Methods of Communication

eduroamAlways use the campus wired network or eduroam secure wireless, especially if you are working with confidential information. If you travel and/or work in public spaces or from home, connect to the campus VPN when accessing campus data. Use “free public WiFi” with extreme caution. Always be aware of what wireless networks you are connecting to. Only use trusted, secure web pages when entering personal or sensitive information online and look for https (not http) in the URL to indicate that there is a secure connection. Don't send restricted data via email, text or instant message (IM). These are generally not secure methods of communication.

Protect Your Computer

antivirusMake sure your computer is protected with antivirus and all necessary security "patches" and updates. Shut down or restart your computer at least weekly -- and whenever your programs tell you to in order to install updates. This helps to make sure software and security updates are properly installed. If you get an antivirus alert that there is malware on your computer, contact the ITS Support Center for assistance.

Minimize Storage of Sensitive Information

fileDelete sensitive information whenever you can. Keep it off of your workstation, laptop computer, and other electronic devices if at all possible. Don't keep sensitive information or your only copy of critical data, projects, files, etc. on portable or mobile devices (such as laptop computers, tablets, phones, memory sticks, CDs/DVDs, etc.) unless they are properly protected. These items are extra vulnerable to theft or loss.

Beware of Scams

scamsYour password is used to identify you as you when you login. Remember not to respond to email, instant messages (IM), texts, or phone calls, asking you for your password. Never disclose your password to anyone! Make sure to only click on links from trusted sources and on't open unsolicited or unexpected email attachments. If you can't verify an attachment is legitimate, delete it.

Keep Control of Your Devices

lockSecure laptop computers and mobile devices at all times! Lock them up or carry them with you. Always lock your computer screen when you leave your workspace and make sure to password protect it. Laptop lockdown cables are available at the Bay Tree Bookstore and most computer or office supply stores.

Use a Privacy Screen

screenShoulder surfing is easy to do—just look around your office and notice how many open computer screens you can see. Think about using a privacy screen for your computer if you frequently work with private identity information, payroll, or other confidential information.

Workplace Resources

UCSC Security Resources