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Tagged with privacy , www
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:
If you have questions, please contact Information Security at email@example.com.
- Beware of Google Desktop. For details, see a previous One Step Ahead tip: www.upenn.edu/almanac/volumes/v52/n33/osa.html
- Ask your web administrator if directory index listings have been disabled. (This has been done for www.upenn.edu.)
- 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 www.upenn.edu/computing/web-security/websec/
for more information.
- If you run a web server, prevent search engines from indexing selected directories using a robots.txt file.