Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Tips for Safe Computing

All of us are concerned about personal and financial information, and while TRU employs good security and technological safeguards, your help is needed to protect confidential information. Following these 10 steps is a simple and effective way to reduce the risk of theft or misuse of yours and others personal and financial information.

1. Protect your personal information. Be aware of current online ploys that try to get you to provide personal and/or financial information. Do not respond to unsolicited e-mails or voice mail that asks for confidential information.

TRU ITS will never ask for passwords by email.

2. Make sure your computer is patched. It is very important to update software “patches” for both application and operating systems in order to protect against software vulnerabilities.

3. Safeguard your passwords. Never share your passwords and use ones that are difficult to guess, but easy for you to remember. Strong Passwords should be at least 8 characters long, include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and non-alphanumeric symbols such as @, #, % etc. Remember to change your passwords frequently.

4. Use antivirus software. Antivirus software can protect you from potentially damaging viruses that can enter your computer without your knowledge. You should always use up-to-date antivirus software and one that is capable of scanning files and e-mail messages for viruses.

5. Use personal firewalls. Firewalls create a barrier between your computer and the rest of the Internet. It can help to protect against malicious attacks and block certain types of data from entering your computer.

6. Use anti-spyware. Anti-spyware will help to protect your computer against unwanted software from being installed on your computer without your knowledge. Anti-spyware also helps protect your computer against pop-up advertising and slow performance.

7. Use anti-spam software. Spam is a growing source of computer viruses. Use up-to-date anti-spam software along with your antivirus software. If you receive spam, remember this: don’t try, don’t buy and don’t reply. Just delete it.

8. Use strong encryption. The stronger the encryption your web browser uses, the more difficult it is for unauthorized individuals to intercept your online activities. Sensitive files, such as student and financial information should be encrypted at all times.

9. Log off or lock your computer’s screen when it’s not in use. Make a habit of locking your computer screen when ever you leave your desk and log off, lock your screen, or turn off your computer at the end of the day.

10. Remember to log off applications. Ensure that you always properly log off and close your browser. This will prevent others from being able to view this information later.