Security in the workplace is very important. However, it isn’t necessarily physical security of the building or grounds that are the culprit of many security breaches. Many
times social engineering, defined as the art of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information, is used to bypass that level to gain access. Once access is gained, an intruder only needs a little bit of time at a computer to access confidential documents.
Here at Globe University-La Crosse, we value each student, the whole student. This means we not only care about academic success, but we also value student privacy. Various campus computer programs contain confidential information on students, faculty and staff. Like Globe, many organizations maintain secure documents for employees and customers.
Listed below are tips on how to reduce unauthorized access. Consider implementing these simple tips to make a positive impact on IT security:
1. Every time you leave your desk, lock your computer. Do this by pressing the Windows key and L key at the same time. This prevents anyone from accessing data on the computer while away from it.
2. Login details and passwords should not be written on paper and should never be posted on or around computer screens or one’s desk. This is akin to someone leaving his or her keys in an unlocked car.
3. Change passwords regularly. It should be changed every 2-3 months.
4. Passwords should be complex to ensure integrity. The best passwords contain: a capital letter, a lower case letter, a number, and a special character. Example: The1per$on. Never use “password” or special dates, birthday, anniversary and the like.
5. Under no circumstance should passwords be shared–EVER! If it is necessary to give out a password, it needs to be changed immediately once situation is resolved.
6. Be aware of people that look out of place or lost in your office. Is that person really lost or just searching for potential breach?
7. Institutions that issue identification badges or cards should be worn by employees at all times.
8. Based on institutional policy, security checks should be done at random. Once or twice a week is better. They should never be announced.
Globe University-La Crosse is committed to keeping the students, faculty and staff safe. This includes confidential information as well as physical security. Following these simple steps will go a long way to promote a safe and secure environment for all.
Clinton Kanieski is the IT Program Chair at Globe University-La Crosse. He teaches IT classes, helps with job placement for students and represents Globe University at various community events. If you have a question, tip, trick or fact for Clinton or about the IT Program at Globe University, please let him know! He’d be happy to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org