Guard Your Privacy at Home and Away

Summer’s finally here! If you’re one of those folks who enjoys some time away from the office during the warmer season (but not necessarily away from your phone or laptop), this month we’re talking to YOU! Throughout the month we’ll give you some tips for staying cyber-mindful at home . . .or on a sandy beach somewhere.

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME … FOR SAFE COMPUTING

If you ever access the internet from home (you know, just in case that happens at your house sometimes), here are some things to think about.

Keep the Riff-Raff Off Your Wireless Network

A wireless network happens when you connect an internet access point – such as a cable or DSL modem – to a wireless router. Going wireless is a convenient way to allow multiple devices to connect to the internet from different areas of your home.

However, unless you secure your router, you’re vulnerable to people accessing information on your computer, using your internet service for free and potentially using your network to commit cybercrimes. So take a few minutes to make sure your wireless router is secure:

  • Change the name of your router: The default ID - called a “service set identifier” (SSID) or “extended service set identifier” (ESSID ) – is assigned by the manufacturer. Change your router to a name that is unique to you and won’t be easily guessed by others.
  • Change the pre-set password on your router: When creating a new password, make sure it is long and strong, using a mix of numbers, letters and symbols.
  • Review security options: When choosing your router’s level of security, opt for WPA2, if available, or WPA. They are more secure than the WEP option.
  • Create a guest password: Some routers allow for guests to use the network via a separate password. If you have many visitors to your home, it’s a good idea to set up a guest network.
  • Use a firewall: Firewalls help keep hackers from using your computer to send out your personal information without your permission. While anti-virus software scans incoming email and files, a firewall is like a guard, watching for attempts to access your system and blocking communications with sources you don't permit. Your operating system and/or security software likely comes with a pre-installed firewall, but make sure you turn on these features.

Outsmart your smart home
Can you turn on the outdoor lights from your phone? Read these great tips for keeping wise guys out of your smart systems.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: SAFE COMPUTING CONSIDERATIONS FOR TRAVEL

If you’re away from home (or even just your “home network”), you’ve got a few extra things to think about. These tips are important if you’re in Miamisburg, OH or Miami, FL

Keeping Your Devices & Info Safe
There are a few easy steps you can take to protect your stuff.

  • Clean your machine before traveling. Make sure your software, apps and operating systems are updated so you’re not open to avoidable vulnerabilities.
  • Set an automatic screen lock. Most devices have a setting to “lock” the device with your password or passcode after a period of time - find and enable this.
  • Encrypt your phone and laptop. If you have a UD-issued laptop or phone, you should have our encryption software installed already (if not, get thee to the IT Service Center!), but encryption software is available for your personal devices as well. In fact, Windows encryption and Mac OSX encryption are built into many of their operating systems -- you just need to activate it. Your phone or tablet might also offer encryption as an additional security setting - and if not, you can add it. Read more about phone encryption >>
  • Regularly backup and remove sensitive data from your mobile devices. If it’s not on there, no one can steal it off there.
  • And, if you’re using a public computer (like in a hotel lobby or internet cafe) any of your online activity could be tracked -- don’t visit sites that require your login info.

Keeping Your Connection Safe
If you partake of the **FREE WI-FI** available in many places, how can you tell if it's secure? Well, sometimes you can’t, so err on the side of caution. Here’s what you CAN do:

  • When possible, use trusted Wi-Fi providers that you know are secured. If you travel to other universities, they may be members of Eduroam - a service that lets member institutions (UD is one) obtain internet access with their home credentials (e.g. your UD username and password). Learn more about Eduroam >>
  • Check that your sensitive online activity is encrypted. Look for the “https://” prefix and the green lock icon in the URL before entering your username and password on a site.

Staying on campus?
Make sure you’re using UD’s most secure and convenient wireless connection, UDsecure. If you’re reading this on campus from a mobile device, set up a UDsecure connection right now with the UDsecure Setup Wizard.
NOTE: Don’t just select UD Secure from the list of available networks on your device. You need to register your device to ensure a consistent, secure connection.

And if you’re traveling abroad on UD business or with a UD-issued device:
Let us help you get ready. Check out the information at the sites below AND be aware that international cell phone and data charges can be hefty. If you’ve got a UD-issued phone, contact the IT Service Center to have your plan adjusted before going abroad. Otherwise, you may return home to an unexpectedly large bill!
UD’s International Travel Registry
Technology Abroad

OUCH Newsletters for Securing the Human