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Monday, July 28, 2014

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One Step Ahead: Almanac Security Tips - 2014

In each issue, Penn's Journal of Record, The Almanac publishes helpful tips and hints for dealing with information security and privacy matters. This page is a collection of all those published thus far.
New! You can now receive new One-Step-Ahead Security and Privacy Tips automatically!
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Table of Contents (view all)

Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability
Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Filing Taxes Online This Year? Take Steps to Protect Your Information!
If your computer runs Windows XP, you must update it now!
Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Yearís Holiday Shopping Season
Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box

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Tagged with email , privacy , hackers

Tuesday, October 7, 2008 - Almanac Vol. 55, No. 7

Several Types of Risks in Email

Sometimes itís absolutely necessary to share Social Security numbers (SSNs) with colleagues; however, sharing SSNs via email is never a good idea and is prohibited by University policy. Nor is it a good idea to share other sensitive data via email. Almost all email on campus is sent and stored in clear text, neither protected by encryption in transit nor at rest on the senderís and recipientís hard drives.

There are many dangers associated with including sensitive and confidential data in email messages. This includes information directly written in the body of the message or appended as an attachment. The message could be hacked or intercepted during transit, exposing the people involved to identity theft and the University to reputational harm.

Further, even though you may be confident of the security of your own system, there is no way to ensure the security of the computer or handheld device your colleague uses to check email. For example, it could be read or downloaded to their home computer, which may be more susceptible to being hacked than their Penn-managed computer.

Another risk is that the recipient could carelessly reply or forward the data to someone else. Finally, email data can get buried in a personís inbox or sent mail folder, causing someone to forget over time that they actually have sensitive files on their computer. All of these potential mishaps illustrate why sharing sensitive data via email is not a secure and safe practice and should always be avoided.


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