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Tuesday Tech Tip - July 2, 2013 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 08:07

Today’s Tech Tip is brought to you by the Information Services & Technology addressing the top 10 computing tips today.  But let me also address a couple for the vacation season –

• Be careful how you store your laptop or mobile device in hot weather.  Your car becomes extremely hot sitting in the sun and it can seriously bake the insides of your device.  Any food products near your device can melt and seep into the motherboard or keyboard. 

• Be careful using your device on your lap or up to your ear.  The longer you use the device, the hotter it gets.  Falling asleep with your laptop on your lap can cause severe burns to your thighs and long conference calls can leave your ears burning.  Instead, try to set up on a flat surface and use headsets.

As for the IST’s advice:

Top 10 safe computing tips

1.Patch, Patch, PATCH!

Set up your computer for automatic software and operating system updates. An unpatched machine is more likely to have software vulnerabilities that can be exploited.  (Pronets points this out to all Windows XP users.)  

2.Install protective software.

Sophos is available as a free download for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux from IS&T's software page. When installed, the software should be set to scan your files and update your virus definitions on a regular basis.

 3.Choose strong passwords.

Choose strong passwords with letters, numbers, and special characters to create a mental image or an acronym that is easy for you to remember. Create a different password for each important account, and change passwords regularly.

 4.Backup, Backup, BACKUP!

 Backing up your machine regularly can protect you from the unexpected. Keep a few months' worth of backups and make sure the files can be retrieved if needed. Learn more about TSM and how to backup your system.

 5.Control access to your machine.

 Don't leave your computer in an unsecured area, or unattended and logged on, especially in public places - including Athena clusters and Quickstations. The physical security of your machine is just as important as its technical security.  

 6.Use email and the Internet safely.

 Ignore unsolicited emails, and be wary of attachments, links and forms in emails that come from people you don't know, or which seem "phishy." Avoid untrustworthy (often free) downloads from freeware or shareware sites. Learn more about spam filtering.  

 7.Use secure connections.

 When connected to the Internet, your data can be vulnerable while in transit. Use remote connectivity and secure file transfer options when off campus.  

 8.Protect sensitive data.

 Reduce the risk of identity theft. Securely remove sensitive data files from your hard drive, which is also recommended when recycling or repurposing your computer. Use the encryption tools built into your operating system to protect sensitive files you need to retain.  

9.Use desktop firewalls.

Macintosh and Windows computers have basic desktop firewalls as part of their operating systems. When set up properly, these firewalls protect your computer files from being scanned.  

10.Most importantly, stay informed.

We couldn’t agree more!  Always ask us questions – Pronets takes pleasure in helping you!  That’s why our clients are actively participating in all of these top 10 tips (although the passwords are still up to you.)  We want you to be safe and successful, so we continue to take care of all of those in our care and educate those that are not.


Tech Tip - June 25, 2013 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 June 2013 09:56

The Smarter Approach to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)  

This month we have considered the impact of the BYOD on your network’s health. Hopefully, you are more aware of the serious implications these stray devices have on your overall system. Locking down access to one or two folders can seemingly solve your security issues, but what happens to data after the employee leaves? What protection against viruses does the device have, and how do you make sure those viruses don’t hop onto the network?

Consider the COPE method, Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled. This method means the company owns the device and therefore can set policies and procedures at a more advanced level. When an employee leaves the company, the device stays and so does its information. The device must adhere to standards set forth by the corporate policies at all times and therefore increases the safety of the network.

No matter whether you are using BYOD or COPE, there are some additional considerations you can immediately begin discussing in your organization.

  1. Pass a policy: no one can connect without written consent from corporate and proper onboarding of the device.
  2. Onboard the device using invitations to the network and enforcement of policies and passwords.
  3. Decide what should be monitored or managed on the device, for example: monitoring the current status of the anti-virus to protect your user and your network.
  4. Consider what you have the right to report on, for example: phone calls during working hours or data usage?
  5. The most important consideration: OFFBOARDING. The idea is to proactively identify the information that should be removed from the device along with any rights or privileges. This should be an expected process when an employee disembarks from your company.

Because of the overlap of personal rights and corporate rights, you should know the threats which exist in fairly innocuous packages like itunes and youtube. Talk to employees and discover what they feel comfortable agreeing to sacrifice or practice. Consult with Pronets for expertise and ask about the possible threats and exposures these devices cause to your company’s network.




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