Student Safe Computing

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About this article

This article coveres some basic tips and tricks for staying safe online. It is intended for all WSU students.

Appropriate Computing Video

What makes a good password and how many should I have?

  • Make password at least 8 characters long. Using upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols as a combination for a more secure password.
  • Use separate passwords for every account. This helps prevent hacking of your personal information by others.
  • KeePass password safe--this is a free open source application that students can use to help manage their passwords for different accounts.
    • We recommend that students should not write down their passwords to avoid misplacing it.
    • It is better to use Internet based security tools such as KeePass to keep or store passwords.

OneDrive: What is it?

  • Microsoft OneDrive is a password-protected hard drive out in the cloud. You can use it to store thousands of files and can get to them anytime you’re online and can access them from virtually any device.

Why should I use this instead of an external hard drive?

  • Using OneDrive students will be able to access documents, notes, photos, and videos from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • To learn more about OneDrive:

Social Networking

  • Privacy setting and security setting should be set in your own level of comfort especially when it comes to sharing information on the Internet. It’s okay to limit who you share information with, an example would be on Facebook or any social media.
  • Never leave your PC or Mac laptop unattended. In the past there has been reported stolen laptops by students on and off campus.

What is Phishing?

  • WSU IT Department Phishing Brochure
  • Phishing for your secure email or other accounts’ information is a common indication of attempted identity theft, as well as other scams.
  • If you are ever asked to send a password to anyone, DON’T!
    • WSU will never ask you for your password
    • This is a universal rule; keep your passwords personal, and do NOT respond to these types of emails
  • If you receive a phishing attempt on your WSU email account, please forward the original email to:
  • When in doubt about links in email or online advertising, most especially emails asking for your username and password, delete it and if it looks suspicious even if you know the source delete it or mark it as spam/junk email.

What is malware?

  • WSU IT Malware Brochure
  • Malware is software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems.
  • This can do a lot of things to your computer. It is designed to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information or gain unauthorized access to your computer system.
  • Malware can lead to:
    • Stolen identity
    • Problems running your web browser
    • Inhibited web access
    • Loss of virus protection
    • Severe lag in computer processing speeds
    • You could even lose data from your Mac or PC!

Why should I run my updates?

  • Keep security up to date at all times because having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defense against viruses, malware, and other online threats.

When using external saving devices

USB/flash drives and other external hard drives should be scanned before using to back up documents and data---- such devices can be easily infected resulting in corruption of files.

  • Always back up your documents, projects, music, photos, and other digital information by making a digital copy and storing it safely because laptops can crash or get viruses unexpectedly at any time.
    • Backup your data with a External Hard Drive.