Information Security Central - April 2017

​As many people prepare to leave for the summer, we wanted to take this moment to highlight some new and past security tips from this spring and how you can use them to make sure that you stay secure over the summer.

Remember: Just because it's summer doesn't mean that you should let your guard down. Keep these security tips in mind, and stay vigilant during the summer months!

Updating your computer

With the weather rapidly transitioning, it's easy to want to put your laptop away or forget about starting up your desktop for a while, spending some time outdoors instead after the long winter. That's a good thing! But make sure to start your computer up every now and then to install the backlog of accumulated updates. You don't want to put it off for months and forget later when you do turn your computer back on. While you're at it, why not set-and-forget a virus scan?

Travel

There's a whole lot to consider when taking technology with you when you travel, especially if you're traveling internationally. Make sure that you're encrypting your devices appropriately, frequently backing up your data, and using VPN if you're on an unsecure connection. We cover this in much more detail in last month's Information Security Central.

Enroll in identity/fraud protection

As it happens, staff employees with BCBS insurance have this available at no cost. (Sorry, faculty, but this isn't available through MESSA.) You can choose to enroll in AllClear identity protection, or you are able to can use AllClear Secure Identity Repair with no enrollment required. To find out more, check out Blue Cross Blue Shield's AllClear page.

Change your password

It's important to change your password at least annually, so take the opportunity over the summer to do so. Just be aware that we're going to be updating our password complexity requirements over the summer, so that will be a perfect time to change your password. The new requirements are intended to make it easier to create a password that is simultaneously strong, easy to remember, and simple to enter on mobile devices. We think you'll like the upcoming changes.

Just stay vigilant

It's important not to let down your guard if you have the summer off. Remember to avoid suspicious messages, don't give out your password, and go with your gut if something doesn't seem right. The Help Desk will be around all summer, so you can always give them a call at 989.774.3662 with your security-related questions.