Information Security Awareness Month 2018: October 2018

Week 4: Securing Your Devices

It is important these days to make sure that our devices are secure. Boston University has the Minimum Security Standards policy that defines the security requirements for devices that have University data on them. For personal devices that aren’t used for University business, here are some tips to help protect them and your personal information.

Keep your computer and applications updated. Patches or updates help resolve security flaws that you might have on your system, protecting you from malicious attempts to compromise your system.  Patches should be applied on a fairly regular basis at a time that’s convenient for you.

Install antivirus software. You should install antivirus software on your personal devices.  Antivirus isn’t just for laptops!  It should be installed on your desktop computers, tablets, and phones! Boston University provides McAfee for free here.

Enable Encryption on your device. Your devices should be encrypted using the built in encryption feature included in your phone or computer’s operating system. For personal computers, On Mac there is FileVault and Windows there is Bitlocker.

Require a password when logging into your devices. It is always good to have a password required to login to your devices. If your device gets stolen and there isn’t a login password, then the thief would have access to all of your data immediately.

Use a secure connection (often called a “VPN”) to connect to the network. Using a secure connection provides an encrypted tunnel for information to travel from your computer and throughout the internet. This is important when you are working remotely or using public WiFi hotspots where data can potentially be read by malicious individuals if it isn’t encrypted.