Security Tips

Ten 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. 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.
  3. Be extremely careful with file sharing software
    Violators risk being disconnected from campus networks. If you share copyrighted files, you also run the risk of serious legal consequences.
  4. Practice safe emailing
    Don't open email attachments or click on web site addresses in emails unless you really know what you're opening. 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]]. 
  5. Secure laptop computers at all times
    Keep your laptop 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: laptops get stolen from cars, houses, and offices all the time. Make sure it is locked or in something permanent. Laptop lockdown cables are available at most computer or office supply stores.
  6. 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.
  7. Make sure your computer is protected with anti-virus and all necessary security "patches" and updates
    Keep your computer up to date. Talk to your computer support person or contact the Technology Support Center at 757-221- HELP (4357) for assistance.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Make backup copies of files or data you are not willing to lose
    Backup ... backup ... backup. Store your backup copies very securely.