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Information Technology Services

Stay Safe Online

04/13/11

The Internet is an ever-growing network allowing people to conduct research, spread ideas, and communicate globally. Unfortunately, a relatively small number of people also use the web to attempt to commit crimes. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe online. 

Social Networking

  • Limit the amount of personal or contact information you place onto a social networking site such as Facebook or Twitter. If certain information is necessary, make sure only those you trust are able to view it.
  • What goes on the Internet stays on the Internet. Protect your and other people’s reputations by only uploading respectful and honest messages, pictures, and videos.
  • Learn about and use the different privacy settings on social network sites. Learn more about privacy settings for Facebook and Twitter.

Passwords

  • To maintain online safety, passwords should be relatively long and complex. Use letters and numbers in your passwords. You should be able to easily remember your password, but at the same time, it should be different enough that no one else will be able to guess it.
  • Don’t use sequential digits, your birthday, or the word “password” as your password.
  • Use different passwords for all online accounts, including social networking, academic, banking, and consumer websites.
  • Create a list of all your passwords and store it in a secure area.

Cyber Security

  • Make sure you have installed security software onto your laptop, and keep it up-to-date to help keep your computer virus-free and running smoothly.

Windows users at Boston College must install McAfee Anti-Virus and ePO software, and Mac users must use Sophos Anti-Virus software. Anti-spyware software is also recommended.

  • Use caution on wireless networks. Only use networks that are secure and provide privacy. When you’re on campus, be sure to use bcsecure.
  • When using a public computer, do not save your passwords or contact information on any website, and make sure to logoff when you are finished.

Sites such as Stay Safe Online and US-CERT offer many other tips to help you keep your data secure from cybercriminals.