A Security Primer

Physical Security

This includes things like not having papers on desk after you leave work, visible passwords or other confidential information.

Lock your computer when you leave, even for a few minutes, especially if there is someone else in your office . Privacy screens can be helpful for this.

Make sure your password is not clearly visible on a sticky note. Don’t put your password in plain sight, like under the keyboard, or mousepad, these are common places for people to look. If you keep passwords in a book, keep it in a place that can be secured.

Don’t share passwords with others, everyone has a login account for a reason. Passwords protect you and everything you have access to , such as network drives, your email, your browsing history and files. They enforce accountability, it can be safely assumed that if your account is logged onto your computer, it must be you logged in.

Email Security

Ensure email privacy by always double checking the email address of the recipient when sending out an email. Make sure the email does not include anyone else by mistake. As well double check sender address when you receive email, to verify its from someone you expect, know or have had previous legitimate communication with.

If an email attachment seems out of place or suspicious, don’t open it. Following that, if you receive an out of character email from someone in your contact list, don’t click any links in it. When in doubt about an email/attachment, contact your IT department . If you’re at home, contact the person who emailed you by phone, another email address or talk to them in person to verify the legitimacy of their communication.

Check if the entire email is clickable, if it is it’s an image and not a valid email, this is a common scam used to fool people into thinking the email is from a specific company.

Don’t be fooled by email hoaxes. Here is an example of one: At an ATM put your pin number in backwards if someone tries to rob you and it will alert the police and they will come. This is a popular one being shared on Facebook, this is false information that could put you in danger if you ever are robbed at an ATM.

ATM security

When possible don’t choose a pin that is easy to guess such as your birth year. Before you use an ATM check if anything looks suspicious around the card reader. There are removable pieces that criminals can add to a card reader that can capture your card information. Always cover the keypad when putting in your pin. Remember that most bank ATM's have cameras, so if you are robbed/mugged, odds are they will see who did it, what happened etc.

Security is about more than just anti-virus software and firewalls. Users need to be aware, ignorance is dangerous.