- Top 10 Computer Security Tips
- Securing Confidential Electronic Data
- Network Access Controls
- How to retrieve a lost mobile/smartphone?
- Security Documents
- Security for Mobile/Smartphones
- Cloud Computing Security Best Practices
Get and install all critical updates for your Operating System.
Periodically there is a release of “patches” or “updates” for versions of your operating system. Some of these are deemed "important' and “critical”, and if left unapplied may leave your computer vulnerable to internet worms or other attacks designed to exploit these flaws. It is important to keep your computer patched (up to date).
We recommend you set up your PC or MAC to automatically check the Microsoft or Apple site to download and install patches, so that you won’t risk missing an important or critical security patch, or you can do this manually.
|Windows 2000/XP||Windows 2000/XP|
|Windows 7||Windows 7|
|Windows Vista||Windows Vista|
|MAC OS - X||MAC OS - X|
Operating System and software updates should only be done through the above methods. Be aware that malicious websites may show pop-ups and disguise malware as “critical software updates”. See Do Not Download or Install Unknown or Unsolicited Programs or Files for additional information.
If you do not have anti virus software, Sophos is available for FREE for Ryerson faculty, staff and students and can be downloaded from Software Download page. Sophos can be used on your home and office computer. Sophos will automatically check to see if it needs an update as soon as you log on to the Internet.
There are several different forms of password protection. Use complex, hard to guess passwords and change these regularly for your accounts. Password protect your computers, laptop and mobile devices. Also setup screensavers with passwords. Do not share these passwords.
Tips on selecting a password
Email spam is unsolicited mass email. Some spam email can contain offensive content or it may have an attachment that contains a virus that has the potential to harm your computer or the network.
All incoming outside email messages are passed through the Ryerson mail filters to determine whether they are legitimate senders or from "spammers".
Appropriate measures will be taken to try and reduce the amount of incoming spam and reduce the number of messages that have been falsely flagged as spam.
Currently, incoming outside email messages passed through the Ryerson mail filters which are considered to be spam are quarantined and not delivered to your mailbox. This may cause potential problems because some legitimate messages are falsely flagged as spam, quarantined and the users don’t know about it. Currently, users contact CCS to check if a message they were expecting has been quarantined and if so CCS will manually release the message from quarantine.
Starting late March 2017 users will be able to manage their spam messages. Ryerson’s email system will no longer quarantine messages for users. RMail users will see a new folder called "Spam" in their mailbox and all spam messages will be delivered to that folder. If a message is not spam users should report it to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will also be able to move the message from the "Spam" folder into their Inbox or any other folder. The system will automatically remove messages in the Spam folder that are older than 30 days.
To protect your computer from spam, you should always take precautions including:
Ryerson is receiving an increasing number of "phishing" emails. Phishing emails are designed to deceive you into giving away confidential information like your Ryerson username and password, credit card number or bank account information. This page provides guidance on how to recognize phishing emails so you can report them and delete them.
Common traits of phishing emails:
Here is an example where the sender is pretending the email is from a ryerson address, but the actual address is really from uniswa.szabc.
Here is an example of an email that claims to be from FedEx where the actual address is from specweldfab.revitalsite.comabc.
It’s always worth taking a moment to carefully check the full email address of the sender.
Here is part of an urgent request that included a link to a fake Ryerson login page:
Here’s another example of an urgent request:
Both of these fake messages include tell-tale grammatical errors and demand you take action to avoid losing access to your account.
Hovering over a link with your mouse and carefully checking the URL is one of the best ways to detect a phishing email. If you are using a tablet or smartphone carefully press and hold the link, rather than tap, to reveal the true URL. Here's an example of a link that goes to a fake Ryerson login page hosted in a server in another country.
If you hover over the link without clicking you will see a very long URL (it may appear in the bottom-left of your browser) like this:
It may remind you of what you see in the location field of your browser when you log into the my.ryerson.ca portal. But it is not the same. Here is the valid address that you see when you login to my.ryerson.ca:
Aside from the fact the fake link is longer, how can you tell which one is a link to a server at Ryerson and which one is not?
Here is fake URL that has been well-crafted to look like a Ryerson address:
Notice how a hyphen has replaced the dot. A valid Ryerson host name that isn’t simply http://ryerson.ca must end with .ryerson.ca/
Let's look at two fedex URLs. Which one takes you to a Fedex site and which one to somewhere more dangerous?
To tell the difference, locate the first forward slash after the https://:
The first link takes you to the real fedex.com site. The second just has fedex in the name.
If you aren't sure about a link, type a link that you know is correct like my.ryerson.ca or fedex.com into the location bar of your browser instead of clicking.
The Ryerson community makes extensive use of Google Apps including Drive, Calendar, and Groups. The URLs for these applications can be very long but they all start with a host name that ends with .google.com:
The host name always ends before the first forward slash with .google.com/
Some attackers have used personal Google accounts and Google Forms to try to get people to "login" to a Google Form. This is relatively easy to spot because Google Forms don't look like Ryerson's or Google's login screens. Google has even added a warning at the bottom of every Google Form that says: "Never submit passwords through Google Forms."
Cyber criminals will use any means to get your personal information. They use various methods to trick people into providing their userids and passwords. This allows them to access accounts and steal identities.
These schemes can be offered to you by Email, web pages, or participating in social network sites. Be cautious when providing private information. Personal information can be deceptively gathered using games, quizzes, and questionnaires or just chatting. Here are some tips:
Trust your instincts, if you are wondering why personal information is needed then it may be a warning sign. A good rule is to locate a site on your own, search for the institution and find your own way there.
The data that is generally restricted by the owner or the proprietor by means of a policy or a law, in terms of its access and/or transmission by public is considered Restricted Data. Personal information, such as Social Insurance Number (SIN), Credit Card information, Student Records, Banking Information, Passwords, etc. generally falls under the restricted data category.
The secure transmission and/or access of restricted data can be accomplished via communication methods that use electronic encryption such as RU-VPN2, email encryption, ssh, sftp and Eduroam.
When browsing, make sure the URL uses “https” which means the information you enter is being encrypted during transmission, including your password. Check that the lock icon is visible on your browser.
Although is perfectly legal to share files like photos and pictures with family and friends, the general authorities consider that Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing is mostly used to share illegal content such as a copyright material. Furthermore, being part of the P2P network puts your computer at a higher risk because then your computer will be open to viruses, spyware or threats.
Instead, CCS recommends using one of the secure transfer methods such as RU-VPN2, email encryption, ssh or sftp as described under Secure Connections section.
A firewall is software or hardware that checks network and internet traffic coming to and leaving your computer. A firewall will either block or allow this traffic based on your firewall settings. Without a firewall, your computer is more likely to be infected by damaging viruses.
All new computers now come with firewalls built in. Each computer will have different firewall settings, allowing access to certain users, applications and ports. All CCS supported computers are equipped with software firewalls.
To learn how to change your firewall settings, select your operating system:
Lock your computer screen when you are away:
Logoff from public computers once you are finished with your work.