Everyone needs passwords for numerous applications, Web sites, and even to log on to computers. Passwords keep your data from being stolen by others. One of the easiest ways for someone to get to your data is to figure out your password(s). Here are some suggestions for creating a distinct password:
- Make your password at least 7 characters long.
- Include letters, numbers, and special characters such as @ or $.
- Do not use information relevant to you such as names of relatives, pets, or special dates like birthdays and anniversaries.
- Change your password every 3 to 6 months.
- Do not write down your password. Memorize it.
- Do not give your password to anyone. If you give your password to another person, you may be held responsible for any actions they commit.
- Protecting Your Data
At some point, you have probably lost a document that you really needed. It is a good idea to make back-ups of your data from time to time in case you have the misfortune of losing a document. There are several ways you can do this without spending much time, effort, or money:
- Backup to CD or DVD
If you have a CD or DVD burner, you can make backups of your data. This is a quick, easy, and cheap way to save your files.
- Backup to Network Share (Z: Drive)
If you have a server or a network drive, you can store documents on your computer and also back them up to your network drive. This will store your documents in two separate locations.
- Backup to Removable Media
You can store documents on removable media such as USB drives (also known as thumb drives, flash drives, etc.) as a backup solution. These are good places to store your data, and since they are portable, you can take your data with you.
- Backup to CD or DVD
- When Not In Use
If you have to step away from your computer for a short period of time or if you are finished for the day, make sure that you secure the computer. There are three ways to do this:
- Log off
Logging off of your computer is especially important in public areas such as coffee shops, libraries, schools, etc. Logging off prevents anyone from using the computer under your username.
- Lock your computer
When you are leaving your computer for a short period of time, locking the computer will keep someone else from using it. To carry out this function press CTRL-ALT-DEL and click the "Lock Computer" button. This option is not available in the Winthrop computer labs.
- Turn off your computer
Turning off the computer is the most secure way to prevent unauthorized access. If the computer is not on, no one will be able to connect to it remotely and carry out any malicious actions.
- Log off
- Identify Theft
You should adopt sound practices when using email and other forms of communication on your computer to protect yourself from identity theft. Never give out personal information such as your social security number, bank account numbers, or passwords. You are strongly advised against providing other personal information such as your home address and phone number.
Securing Your Computer and Personal Information
Knowing how to use your computer responsibly is important to protect both yourself and those arround you. P2P or peer-to-peer programs have made news recently across the nation. Suits are being filed against users regarding illegal activity such as improper music downloads. We strongly suggests that you do not use peer-to-peer programs.
Always respect copyright laws. This includes printed and digital material. Do not engage in illicit music, video, or movie downloads. Please be aware that the infringement of copyrighted music, videos, or movies can be punished by up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Repeat offenders can be imprisoned up to ten years. Individuals also may be held civilly liable, regardless of whether the activity is for profit, for actual damages or lost profits, or for statutory damages up to $150,000 per infringed copyright.
Also, please be advised that all telecoms and internet providers will notify the appropriate authorities whenever requests are made by the Recording Industry Association of America or any other legitimate enforcement or monitoring entity.
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