Cybersecurity Tips

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Use strong passwords

There has been a lot of talk recently about using “strong passwords." A strong password includes letters, numbers, capital letters and special characters. Start with a phrase that will be easy to remember. Change a few characters so that there are no “actual” words. For instance, replace an “e” with a “3” and an “o” with a zero (0). Use a different password for every account.

Set up two-factor authentication (2FA)

The College has turned on 2FA for Outlook and my.whittier.edu and connected systems. It is also available for students to turn on for Poets Gmail (and any Gmail) accounts. Check into turning on 2FA for personal accounts as well.

Use a VPN

The College has used Cisco AnyConnect VPN for years, but is now transitions to Impulse SDP because it offers 2FA.

Use an antivirus software

The College provides Symantec Endpoint Protection for the students, faculty and staff.

Secure your home router (wireless access point)

Many people don’t change the default password for logging in to their router. Simply changing the initial password is most important. Here is an article that describes how to change that initial password. Note: it will be slightly different for different router brands.

Install updates regularly

Windows usually lets you know when you need to restart to install updates. You can quickly check to be sure that you are getting updates.

  • Go to the Start button and click on Settings. Double click on Updates and Security then click on Check for Updates.
  • On a Mac, go to the Apple menu then choose App Store, then click on Updates.

Back up your data

For many people, we have moved data stored on local servers in to OneDrive/SharePoint in the cloud. These files can be accessed from anywhere by logging into your Outlook email through the Web. If IT has not done this yet for you, please email them at ithelp@whittier.edu.

Beware of remote desktop tools

Please only use the specific remote connection programs provided by or specified by the College.  Other programs can be backdoors to viruses, spyware and even surveillance. The programs provided by the College to connect to the College are Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client (VPN) and Impulse SDP. To connect to an office computer, we use Remote Desktop Connection, which is built into Windows. On the Mac, we can use screen sharing, which also built-in.

Look out for phishing emails and sites

A monthly newsletter with information about phishing emails and is sent out to the campus community from IT. Bottom line:  if it looks suspicious, it probably is. Please reach out to ITS if you are unsure