Computer Security


There are several simple steps you can follow to make sure that your personal and Trinity-issued computers remain secure. For all Trinity-issued workstations, these steps are mandatory.

 

Users

Trinity faculty, staff, and students

 

Getting Started

1  Regular Updates

Keep your software and operating system regularly updated. Updates will often include important security patches to protect against system vulnerabilities, so you should install any updates as soon as they are available. Software vendors typically provide a website where you can download software updates if auto-updating is not a feature.

2  Antivirus

Every computer should have antivirus software installed, regularly updated, and scanning for malware regularly. Trinity provides antivirus software for free (for Students and for Fac/Staff) so there's no excuse!

3  Sensitive Information

Never, ever give someone else your passwords, account numbers, or any other sensitive personal information via email, text message, or instant message. Your information can be easily intercepted, forwarded, or redirected by the recipient without your knowledge. Never write down passwords - if you forget one, simply reset it.

4  Password Strength

Never use the same password for multiple accounts and avoid simple or predictable passwords. Follow these guidelines for creating strong passwords and remember to regularly change them up.

5  Trusted Websites & Browser Cache

Never provide sensitive or personal information on a website unless you know and trust the website. Review the company's privacy and security policies and check for use of a secure connection (look for a lock symbol or the use of https:// in the website address) and always have a good reason for providing any information to them.

After entering any such information (password, credit card information, etc), remember to clear your browser's cache, which is temporary storage. A cache can be convenient, but if your computer is lost, stolen, or hacked into the cache files could be used for fraudulent activity or identity theft.

6  Social Media

Remember that when you post something to social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc - it can and will be viewed by people you don't know, even if you have changed your account security settings. Always be cautious and discrete about what you choose to post, since online activities have a tendency to feel much more anonymous and private than they are in reality.

7  Unknown Sources

Never open an email attachment or execute (run) a program if you do not know and trust the source. Attachments that end in two combined extensions (.txt.doc or .xls.exe) or anything else suspicious (like .vbs) almost always contain a virus - DO NOT OPEN IT. Even if an attachment comes from a trusted source, verify that they truly did send it before opening the attachment because email addresses often get hacked in order to spread malware this way.

8  Malware & Viruses

Use antivirus software to detect, report, quarantine, and remove viruses, spyware, and malware. Spyware is a program that is installed on your computer to secretly gather information and relay it to advertisers, companies, or individuals interested in your internet browsing habits. Malware and viruses are installed to maliciously steal personal and sensitive information or to stop your device from functioning. These programs are installed without your consent as an add-on to software you did install, a sneak-in download, a deceptive pop-up window you clicked, or an email attachment you opened.

9  Settings Configuration

Don't set your computer to automatically login on startup. This would work for anyone with access to your computer, not just you - always opt for the password. Disable any guest accounts to protect your computer from unauthorized use and do not enable file and print sharing from your computer, which allows others to access files on your computer. If you must enable Bluetooth or local file sharing, lock it to a single folder and review sharing options and remember to turn off your computer when not using it.

10  Encrypting Files

Keep your confidential files - personal and ones that contain legally protected and restricted Trinity information - in a locked location if physical or securely encrypted if digital. If you choose to keep such information on a portable storage device, keep in mind that it must be stored in a locked location. If you're using a Windows machine, you can use BitLocker, a built-in file encryption tool. If you're using a Mac, it will come with FileVault installed and you can choose to turn it on.

Note: If you choose to encrypt your files, you must remember your password or key. If you forget it, there is no way to reset it or break into the file - you will be locked out permanently!

 

Getting Help

If you have questions or concerns about security or privacy, please contact the ITS HelpDesk at helpdesk@trinity.edu or x7409.