Top IT Security privacy tips for social media users

IT Security – How Secure are you Online: The checklist

There are a few IT security tips that just make sense for any time you find your­self using a computer, phone or tablet, whether that is a College device or a personal one. Below is a summary of some topics covered in our IT Security awareness week, including a few tips we think might help you to ensure your security:

  • Use strong passwords both for your College accounts and all your personal accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, PayPal. Strong passwords – cannot be easily guessed; contain a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols rather than a dictionary word; and, in general should be no less than 8 characters in length.
  • Don’t use the same password for everything; this increases the likelihood of multiple accounts getting hacked at once potentially turning a small problem into a disaster!
  • Don’t let the software installed on your computers fall too far out-of-date. This goes for antivirus applications in particular – they are only truly effective when up-to-date.
  • Be aware of scams; don’t reply to emails or pop-up messages in your browser that ask for passwords or personal or financial information.
  • Staff can protect sensitive data on College laptops by using data encryption.  This ensures that, if your computer is stolen or lost, sensitive or confidential College data is still secure and cannot be accessed. Contact IS Services and get your laptop encrypted today.
  • Have you backed up your important data recently? Avoid disaster by coming up with a data and devise backup strategy now. Concentrate on your most important information and come up with a plan to back it up regularly.

Protect your privacy on Facebook

A review of Facebook’s privacy policy will give you all the latest regarding pro­tecting your privacy on Facebook. Here are just a few tips for you to consider in order protecting your privacy:

  • Shield your personal info
  • Hide your photos from public consumption
  • Screen posts and photos tagged with your name
  • Restrict access to all your old Facebook posts
  • Protect your account from hackers with a strong password
  • Finally, always remember to log off!

Protect your information on Mobile Devices

Smartphones and tablets are essentially mobile computers, therefore it is important to realise that you need to protect and secure your phone or tablet just as you would your computer.

  • Set a password or Personal Identification Number (PIN) on your device.
  • Set up your device to automatically lock if it has not been used for a set period of time – 5mins
  • Keep the software up-to-date just as with your computer.
  • Disable Bluetooth when it is not actively transmitting information and switch Bluetooth devices to hidden mode.
  • Make sure to delete all information stored on a phone or tablet prior to discarding, exchanging or donating it to charity.

Throughout the year, you can keep up-to-date with the latest IS Services news, alerts and security info at and through our Twitter account @tcdisservices.  If you have an IT query you’re welcome to contact the IS Services Helpdesk where our staff can provide assistance.

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