Back to School Securely

Safety of your data and information is critical. Whether you’re attending class, working from home, or instructing a class, keep your information safe by securing your workspace with these tips.

1. Secure your personal computer

Stay up-to-date with patches/fixes/updates (including security, operating system, and antivirus updates) to keep your system in the best shape possible to avoid attacks. Learn more: Securely Working from Home

2. Password protect everything

Give every device a secure password, no matter what. Choose a password that is at least eight to ten characters long and consists of a mix of numbers, special characters, and upper and lowercase letters. Do not use the same password for multiple accounts, and never disclose your password to anyone. A simple solution that can help even further, is to use a password manager. Learn more: Tips on Creating a Secure Password and How a Password Manager Keeps You Safe… and Sane

3. Encrypt your hard drive

Encryption converts the information stored on your hard drive into unintelligible text. Encryption ensures that if someone does break or bypass your password, the information on your computer cannot be read. Learn more: Encryption

4. Secure your home router and WiFi

Insecurely configured home routers can lead to eavesdropping and/or attackers gaining remote control of your home computing devices. Follow key security safeguards such as changing the default router password and using Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2). Learn more: Router Security: How to Setup Your Wi-Fi Router Securely

5. Backup your important files

Cloud-native tools like Docs, Sheets, and Slides in UAlberta G Suite keep changes automatically saved. But what about all your other files that you’ve stored on your computer? One spill of that chai latte, and all your work could be gone. Store a second copy of all your important files somewhere safe, like to an external hard drive or by using online storage. Learn more: Hey Google — Back That File Up  

6. Understand relevant policies 

As a member of the UAlberta community, you are entrusted with using and managing information technology resources responsibly, respectfully and in a manner that reflects high ethical standards, mutual respect and civility, in accordance with the University’s Information Management & Information Technology Policies

Looking for more? Check out these additional resources: