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Security Tips

Nine Simple Security Tips

  1. Use cryptic passwords that can't be easily guessed, and protect your passwords
    Don't share your passwords and avoid writing them down. Consider length over complexity. For additional information and tips, refer to the Password Security.  Information Technology will NEVER ask for your W&M account's password.
  2. Surf smart. Be cautious when using the Internet
    Don't provide personal or sensitive information to Internet sites, surveys or forms unless you are using a trusted, secure web page. Also, just opening a malicious web page can infect a poorly-protected computer. Be aware of where you are going before clicking on a web link. When in doubt, instead of clicking on an unknown or unsolicited link, look up the website on your own and go there independently. If in doubt ask for assistance from the Technology Support Center.
  3. Practice safe emailing
    Don't open email attachments or click on web site addresses in emails unless you really know what you're opening. Never enable content or macros within a document received via email unless you were expecting that kind of document from a trusted known co-worker or person. Delete spam and suspicious emails; don't open, forward or reply to them.  Be aware of Phishing Scams.  Report all instances of phishing to [[abuse]]. 
  4. Secure laptop computers and small form factor devices at all times
    Keep your laptop, cell phone, iPad or Chromebook with you or lock it up securely before you step away. At all times: in your dorm room, at coffee shops, meetings, conferences, airports, etc. Remember: these devices get stolen or lost all the time. Make sure these devices are encrypted and utilize passwords or other authentication methods.
  5. Shut down, lock, log off of, or put your computer to sleep before leaving it unattended
    Make sure your computer requires a password to start up or wake-up.
    <ctrl> <alt> <delete> or <Windows><L> on a PC; Apple menu or power button on a Mac.
  6. Make sure your computer is protected with anti-virus and all necessary security "patches" and updates
    Keep your computer and all software up to date. Talk to your computer support person or contact the Technology Support Center at 757-221- HELP (4357) for assistance.
  7. Store your sensitive info and critical data wisely - portable devices can walk away.
    Don't keep sensitive information or your only copy of critical data, projects, files, etc. on portable devices unless they are properly protected. Items such as such as laptop computers, CDs, floppy disks, memory sticks, PDAs, data phones, etc. are extra vulnerable to theft or loss. We recommend using One Drive or Box as opposed to local hard drives to store data.
  8. Don't install unknown or unsolicited programs on your computer
    These can harbor behind-the-scenes computer viruses or open a "back door" giving others access to your computer without your knowledge. If software is free then you and our data are the price.
  9. Make backup copies of files or data you are not willing to lose
    Backup ... backup ... backup. Store your backup copies very securely. Also store files on One Drive or Box and use the built in tools to sync your files that will eliminate the majority of your backup duties.