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Securing Workplace Computers

Here are some important steps you can take to improve your computer's security:

  • If you're up and about, lock it or log out. Leaving your computer unattended exposes its contents to whomever wanders by. It's dangerous to assume that office areas are inherently less tempting to nosy or malicious people. If the opportunity is there, someone can (and will) take it. Locking your computer is a simple process that involves tapping a few keys on your keyboard:
    • Windows - Press  and L keys together
    • MacOS X - Press Command + Option + keys together.
       
  • Chose strong passwords and change them regularly. A strong password is at least 8-12 characters long, and contains a mix of uppercase, lowercase and numbers or symbols. It should be complex enough to satisfy these requirements, yet easy enough to remember without having to write it down. 
     
  • Deny web browser requests to "save" your passwords. While this feature may be convenient, anyone with direct access to your web browser can easily discover your passwords.
     
  • Do not store sensitive information on USB drives. These can be easily stolen or lost. If you must use USB drives for backup of important files, be sure to encrypt the contents to protect them. Encryption features are built into Windows and MacOS X.
     
  • Check for software updates frequently. Check your software's documentation or help features for information on how to obtain updates, or visit the company's web site. Some software has automatic update functionality --  enabling it is a good idea, but only if you avoid unduly postponing such updates when they're offered.

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