Frequently Asked Questions - Security :: Information Security

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There are many resources on campus to help you; start with the Technology Help Desk or the Campus Information Security Office. Questions or concerns specific to your role at the University should be referred to your supervisor or advisor.

In any situation where you believe that there is a threat to the physical safety of a person or property, contact the University Police immediately.

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Yes! Take advantage of the information security awareness training that's freely available on the web (it's required if you're staff or faculty). If you haven't received an invitation to take the training, contact iso@humboldt.edu for the appropriate link.

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Protecting your digital data is important. But paper and the human voice remain important elements of the security mix. Keep confidential printed information in locked file cabinets and shred it when it's no longer required. If you're talking about confidential information on the phone, take appropriate steps to ensure you're not overheard. Remember the old saying "loose lips sink ships".

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If your computer becomes infected or the hardware fails, you may be unable to retrieve important information. So make sure your data is backed up regularly - and test that backup from time to time to make the the restore works correctly. Check with your ITC or the Technology Help Desk if you need help with this. Learn more about how to protect against a data disaster.

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CDs, DVDs, and USB drives are all convenient ways to store data; the trouble is, they're just as convenient for thieves as for you. Wherever possible, store confidential information in your network folder or other protected central space. If you have to store confidential information locally, you must encrypt it and then delete it as soon as you no longer need it. Get help from your ITC if you plan to encrypt data - it's a complex process, and you could lose what you're trying to protect.

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Learn how to recognize the signs of a hidden attack and avoid becoming a phishing victim. Never click on a link in an email; if you're tempted, cut and paste the url into your browser. That way, there's a good chance your browser will block the page if it's bad. And don't open email attachments until you've verified their legitimacy with the sender.

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Any software you install has the potential to be exploited by hackers, so be very careful to only install applications from a trusted source, and scan every new program with your anti-virus before you install it. If you're at all unsure about the legitimacy of an application, contact the Technology Help Desk or the Information Security Office. The use of pirated software is illegal and in breach of HSU's Acceptable Use Policy

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Keep your operating system, critical applications (like your browser) and antivirus patched and up-to-date, and use a personal firewall. That way, you'll avoid becoming vulnerable to hackers and others looking to steal information. You're also required to do this before you can connect to the HSU wireless network.

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CSU has prepared a comprehesive list of the level of protection different kinds of data require. Students, staff, and faculty all have access to information that must not be shared, including (especially!) passwords. Familiarize yourself with the applicable laws and policies which govern these records and act accordingly. If you're staff or faculty, it's a good idea to periodically review the information in the online security training class you took when you first joined HSU.

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Sadly, no. But a strong password goes a long way towards protecting yourself against identity theft and unauthorized access to your confidential information. Read our tips for creating a strong, memorable password.

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