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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  New Resources
Travel Tips for Data Security
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Managing Passwords
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  Best Practices
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Tips for safe computing
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  More in-depth information for
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Electronic privacy
Worms, trojans, backdoors

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!
You can subscribe via Email or RSS.

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 Year’s 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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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - Almanac Vol. 53, No. 9

Keep your private data from showing up on Google

If you are careless, Google and similar search engines will index private files on your computer, making them available to the whole world. Here’s how you can prevent this from happening:

  • Beware of Google Desktop. For details, see a previous One Step Ahead tip:
  • Ask your web administrator if directory index listings have been disabled. (This has been done for
  • Be careful what folders you store sensitive files in. When you use "Save As..." it’s easy to save a file to the wrong folder. Web publishers have sometimes accidentally saved a sensitive file in the public web folder.
  • If you lack experience developing web-based databases, get help from your Local Support Provider.
  • Even properly protected web pages with sensitive data should be taken offline when no longer needed. It’s too easy, unfortunately, for applications with one wrong setting to end up in the public domain.
  • Google doesn’t have a PennKey! If only members of the University community should have access to sensitive data, use PennKey authentication to protect those parts of your web site. See
    for more information.
  • If you run a web server, prevent search engines from indexing selected directories using a robots.txt file.

If you have questions, please contact Information Security at


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