Using computers is a useful and necessary activity, but it can also involve risks to your computer and your personal information. Safe computing practices are a combination of computer software and security settings. To keep your computer safe use up to date antivirus, use the Internet safely, protect your data by using secure connections, and keep your computer and information safe by using strong passwords and controlling access to your computer.
Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection
All University laptops and desktops have Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) anti-virus software installed. SCEP runs anti-virus scans and updates virus definitions on each system automatically.
Users with Lawrence Tech laptops or desktops do not need to do anything to configure or manage SCEP software.
If you have other questions about SCEP, please contact the Lawrence Tech Computer Help Desk by phone at 248.204.2330 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secure Your Home Wireless Network
When managing wireless connections at home, the qualities that make the internet accessible to you also make it accessible to everyone else. Be smart and secure your network to protect your privacy so that only those you allow can access it.
There are two basic steps to securing your home network: (1) keep your devices up to date and (2) secure your wireless router. For specific instructions, see the documentation from your internet service provider or the manufacturer of your device.
- Update all your Internet-enabled devices with the latest operating systems, web browsers, and security software. This includes any mobile devices that access your wireless network, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices like an Internet-enabled thermostat, lights, refrigerator, and so on. Security software includes antivirus or anti-malware software. Check your devices for updates regularly and keep them up-to-date.
- Secure your wireless router. Your WiFi network is created by connecting an internet access point – such as a cable or DSL modem – to a wireless router. The default settings on your wireless router, such as a generic password, can be compromised. Here are the ways to secure a wireless router (if necessary, refer to the detailed instructions that accompany your router):
- Change the name of your wireless network. The default name or ID broadcast by your router is assigned by the manufacturer. Change it to a name that is unique to you and does not reveal information about the model or manufacturer.
- Change the preset password for your router. Leaving a default password unchanged makes it much easier for unauthorized people to access your network. Choose a strong password and store it in a safe location. You probably won’t need to use this password unless you are fixing a problem with your network or changing router settings.
- Encrypt WiFi traffic. When choosing your router’s level of security, opt for Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) if available, or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). These levels are more secure than the Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP) option.
- Disable remote administration. It is unlikely you will need to access your router settings from a remote location or network.
- Position the router securely and limit the range of access. Do not place your router in a location where anyone can plug in a network cable to gain access. Try to position it where the wireless signal only reaches the locations where you want access.
- Use a firewall. A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing traffic based on predetermined security rules. It establishes a barrier between your internal network and the outside Internet. Your operating system and/or security software likely comes with a pre-installed firewall. Make sure it is turned on.
One of the most important ways to secure your data and protect your personal information is to know how to create and use strong passwords. Using strong passwords and changing them regularly can help keep you safe from attackers who try to access your accounts by guessing or cracking your passwords. A strong password is difficult to guess, has 8 or more characters, isn't a word in the dictionary (regardless of language), and includes numbers and special characters.
How to create strong passwords
If you need help creating a strong password, here are some suggestions:
- Pick a phrase you can easily remember. Use the first or last letter of each word and put it together for a password. For example: Lawrence Technological University: Theory and Practice since 1932 password would be: ltu:taps1
- Capitalize some of the letters: hAveAGooDDay
- Use numbers in place of vowels: secr1tP4ssw0rd
- Remove some letters from a word or misspell it intentionally: Xpearimntl
- Include special characters: what_t!me?izit
Remember to guard your identity and data by following these practices:
- Don't share your password with anyone. It's a violation of Lawrence Tech Computing policy to share your username and password information with anyone.
- Don't store passwords on your computer, have your browser remember them, or leave them written on pieces of paper around your computer.
- Use different passwords for different systems. Don't use the same password for every website and account you have. If you use the same password for all your accounts and it's compromised, then all your accounts are compromised.
- Don't create passwords using personal information like birthdays, names of children, pets, phone numbers, or addresses. Social networking sites make your personal information widely available and your password may be easy to guess.
- Make your passwords really long. The longer a password is, the harder it is to crack.
- Change your passwords regularly.
- Change your password after international travel and after using a non-secure network.
Are you using one of the ten most popular passwords?
What is Phishing?
Phishing: The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. Identify theft can be devastating to the victim and is difficult, costly, and time-consuming to fix.
There are many websites which can help explain phishing tactics and what you can do to protect yourself. For more information, look at these sites:
To help the Lawrence Tech community recognize a legitimate email message, please remember:
- Messages sent from Lawrence Tech IT Services will always be signed by name.
- You will never be asked to send personal information in an email message.
- Personal Information: passwords, social security number, name, email address, residential address, credit card number, mother's maiden name, etc.
- Any email message which indicates that you are over your email storage quota is almost always a phishing attempt.
- There are often grammatical or typographical errors. You may notice something just seems wrong with the grammar.
- The return address is unknown to you. If you were able to see the "reply to" address, which was visible in some cases, you would have seen that if you had replied it was going to an unknown email address, and not an ltu.edu address.
- Never click on any links in phishing emails.