AITS staff are available to help you keep your devices in top working condition and you data secure. Following proper data handling practices ensures that you stay in the driver seat when it comes to the integrity of your data and its security. As a student at UConn Health, you may handle sensitive data that include protected health information (PHI). Below are some tips to help you keep your laptop safe and your data secure. Below is information and guidelines for good data management and safe computing.
Backup enables you to restore your data in the event of data loss due to a hardware or software malfunction. You should backup your data - including your lecture notes, emails, and documents - frequently on a storage medium separate from your hard drive. A number of media can be used to backup your data, including encrypted flash drives (USB stick), encrypted external hard drives, and the cloud (OneDrive, GoogleDrive, etc.). Please be advised that to protect student privacy, AITS staff cannot backup your files.
Refer to this guide for instructions on how to backup files in Windows 7 & 10.
(2) Anti-malware Software
Keep your laptop Symantec anti-malware up-to-date to protect against an ever evolving computer malware. Malware is short for malicious software. Malware is often used as an all-inclusive term to refer to viruses, spyware, adware, rootkits, trojan horses, etc. The intent of malware is to perform damaging and/or annoying actions on a computer system without permission. Examples include deleting files, changing settings, stealing personal information, displaying popup messages, and other malicious acts.
Take the following steps to prevent malware:
- Avoid opening email from people you don’t know.
- Avoid using Peer-To-Peer (P2P) software for illegal purposes (often abused P2P software includes BitTorrent, LimeWire, and Shareaza).
- Avoid visiting websites that illegally broadcast TV shows, movies, etc. (does not include FOX, NBC, ABC, Hulu, and other reputable websites).
- Avoid visiting websites that illegally distribute copyrighted material such as software, music, movies, and TV shows.
- Be extremely careful on social networking sites (such as Facebook) and “gossip” websites as these sites are often targeted by malware creators.
- Avoid clicking on links from people you do not know and clicking on suspicious links.
- Keep Windows updated via Microsoft Update.
- Scan your computer regularly with anti-malware software. Below is a list of recommended anti-malware prevention, detection, and cleaning applications:
- Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware (free version)
- McAfee Site Advisor
- Spybot Search & Destroy
- SuperAntiSpyware (free version)
- Symantec Antivirus or Symantec Endpoint Protection: This is pre-installed on all student laptops.
- Even Macs get malware. To keep your personal Mac laptop clean, download, install and scan with: Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware for Mac (free version).
If you suspect your computer is infected, take these steps and precautions:
- Clean-up with anti-malware software.
- Don’t enter credit card information, passwords, email addresses, etc. into fake antivirus programs. Symantec AntiVirus is pre-installed on all student laptops. If you have entered credit card information, passwords, email addresses, etc. into a fake antivirus program, alert your credit card company, bank, etc.) immediately.
- Don’t make any online purchases until you clean up your computer.
- Don’t do any online banking until you clean up your computer.
- If you can’t clean up your laptop, AITS staff can re-image your laptop for you.
(3) Confidential Information Disclosure
Never disclose confidential/sensitive information such as your social security number or credit card information before verifying the authenticity and legitimacy of the request. Remember that IT staff will never ask for your password or full social security number to provide technical support. When in doubt, do not disclose.