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Monday, July 28, 2014

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Travel Tips for Data Security
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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!
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, April 24, 2012 - Almanac Vol. 58, No. 31

Not all wireless is created equal

Wireless networking has become nearly ubiquitous to the point that, even in the great outdoors, there are fewer and fewer spots where wireless users can't get "bars." In addition to laptops, the list of devices that can make use of wireless networks now includes smartphones, tablet devices like iPads, printers, thermostats - even home DVD players can now deliver content and updates via wireless!

With so many networks available, how can you know which are safe to use? In many cases, actually, you can't. Penn's main wireless network, AirPennNet, is a very robust, high-bandwidth medium featuring state-of-the-art encryption and security which protects PennKey-authenticated users. An alternative network, AirPennNet Guest, which provides lower bandwidth and no encryption in transit is available to users whose time at Penn is brief or limited, and whose needs are not as demanding.

But what about the coffee shop on the corner, or the hotel you just checked into? Even major, reputable businesses sometimes offer free wireless networks that do not require authentication and/or encryption, and it's a good idea in general to avoid open, unencrypted wireless networks on which other "freeloaders" ­maybe even the guy sitting next to you­—are intercepting ("sniffing") and capturing traffic on the network, including yours.

At home, make your wireless network as secure as possible by using the strongest encryption your access point(s) provide (usually WPA-2), making sure the password needed for access is strong, and change all default administration passwords.

For more information on Penn's wireless networks, visit


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