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Thursday, July 31, 2014

  New Resources
Travel Tips for Data Security
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Managing Passwords
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Tips for safe computing
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  More in-depth information for
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Electronic privacy
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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 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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Tagged with home computing , software

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 - Almanac Vol. 54, No. 7

Working at Home and Other Remote Locations: Recognize the Data Privacy and Security Risks

Working at home and while traveling are becoming common phenomena in our society—including the Penn community. “Virtual offices” can be created almost anywhere using current technology, and flexible work scheduling is expanding in large part because of technology’s impact. The convenience that these developments make possible is accompanied, however, by increased risks to data privacy and security.

For example, assume for a moment that you are working with confidential University data on your home desktop or your laptop. Is the machine properly protected with updated anti-virus software and a firewall? Without these you are running an unnecessary risk of having confidential Penn data hacked. Has a family member perhaps downloaded file-sharing software to your computer? If so, another machine running that software could potentially access all of the data—including the University information—on your hard drive, not just the files that your family member intended to share.

It is critical to be aware that working with confidential Penn data on personal desktops and laptops gives rise to significant new privacy and security risks. To help address these risks, the following steps are recommended:

  • Minimize—and if possible avoid—use of personally-owned machines to access confidential University data such as SSNs, health information, credit card data, student records, and financial information.
  • Be especially cautious regarding computers used by others who may have downloaded dangerous software such as file-sharing tools.
  • Protect your machine with a Penn-recommended security suite.
  • Encrypt any confidential data that is stored locally on your computer.

It is also crucial not to use computers whose security level is unknown—such as public machines in libraries and Internet cafes—to gain access to confidential University data.

For some basic tips on protecting your computer’s security visit the Hot Links listed at


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