Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - Almanac Vol. 62, No. 35
One Step Ahead: Security and Privacy Tips for the Summer Break
During the summer break, some faculty and staff work off-campus more often than during the academic year. While you are away from campus—whether at home or on the road—keep in mind that the Penn data you work with is only as secure as the machine and the network you use.
While traveling, don’t use unsecured wireless hot spots at hotels, airports, coffee shops or other public areas. On these networks, malicious users can potentially access your email and web data as it is delivered to your computer (depending on your applications settings).
Make sure you only use a computer that has the firewall setting turned on and antivirus software installed, and is up-to-date with software security patches. If you don’t keep your computer’s software up-to-date, you run a high risk of having your computer compromised.
Protect University data by working on a dedicated computer that no one else uses, or take advantage of Penn+Box (https://upenn.box.com/), a cloud solution that lets you store and edit files securely over the Internet. If that is not possible, use Remote Desktop to reach your campus computer, or create a separate user account and data storage area on your device’s hard drive that will be reserved for your Penn work.
Be especially careful about what data you store on portable devices, like laptops, USB drives and smartphones, which are easily lost or stolen. While requiring a passcode to unlock these devices is an important first step, extra protections like encryption or remote file deletion may also be necessary.
Last, but certainly not least, consider enrolling in Two-Step Verification for PennKey. This service protects your PennKey by requiring both a password and a code generated on your mobile phone. It is easy to set up, has little impact on your day-to-day experience and is a powerful antidote to stolen passwords.
For assistance or additional best practices when traveling, talk to your Local Support Provider.
For information on Penn+Box and to sign up, see:http://www.upenn.edu/computing/box/gettingstarted/signon.html
For help in setting up two-step verification, see:http://www.upenn.edu/computing/weblogin/two-step/