Information Security Basics

Protect Your Account


  • Never give your password to anyone. UA employees will never ask for your password for any reason.
  • Use strong, unique, passphrases for your various Internet accounts. 
    • Your UAnet passphrase should be used only with University of Akron systems. Using it for another website or service will lower the security of your passphrase on both systems. 
  • Use multifactor authentication (MFA) everywhere you can.
  • Use passwordless authentication wherever possible.

Protect Your Email

  • Learn to identify phishing messages!
    • Question if the message makes sense.
    • Question if the sender is really the sender.
    • Question if the message is too good to be true.
  • Don't click on attachments unless you trust the sender.

Protect Your Data

  • Back up critical files in a secure location. No system is completely immune from a malicious attack or from a hardware or software failure that could unexpectedly and suddenly destroy files. Always ensure that your most important data is backed up just in case. For example, copy files to an external USB hard drive, cloud storage (MS OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.) see the acceptable use guidelines, USB key etc.

Protect Your Computer

  • Keep your software updated!
    • Get it from the manufacturer's site.
    • Set it to automatically install the updates.
  • Use a standard user account for daily use, rather than an account with administrative privileges. This will help limit the damage done by malware infestations.
  • Disable Autoplay on the computer. This helps prevent viruses from being spread via thumb drives and discs. Autoplay is off by default in Windows 7+ but there is still the potential for a malicious USB drive to harm a system, always exercise caution of using unknown USB flash drives in your system.
  • To prevent someone from accessing your computer when you leave it unattended, you should have a password protected screensaver that is on a short timer. It is also a good idea to lock your computer (windows key + "L") before you leave it unattended for any amount of time.
  • Require a password on wakeup. This helps prevent someone from getting on your computer when it has gone into sleep mode and they wake it up.
  • Do not leave your mobile computing devices (laptops, phones, etc.) unattended in public areas.

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