Your personal devices can contain sensitive and confidential data about yourself. Here are some of the best practices for keeping your devices secure from unwanted access:
7 ways to keep your devices secure
- Use a password or PIN to lock your device
- Enable auto-lock feature
- Research an app BEFORE you download it to your computer
- Turn off your Bluetooth unless you are actually using it
- Update your software regularly
- Do NOT plug unknown devices into your computer
- Back-up your computer
Proper management of your account passwords/passphrases is key to your online security. A strong passphrase is key to keeping your information secure.
Why "passphrase" instead of password?
Passphrases are characterized by their long length, which provides increased security when compared to shorter passwords while improving your ability to commit them to memory.
How do I choose a strong password?
Create a passphrase by picking an easy-to-remember sentence. For example, Where Is My C0ffee?. This passphrase contains uppercase letters, lowercase letters, a number, a substitution, spaces and unique characters.
To make your passphrase even stronger, try using the starting letters of each word in the phrase, and alternate between uppercase and lowercase. Or try using words from multiple languages. Get creative with it.
What is the reason for having multiple unique passphrases?
If your passphrase is the same for two separate accounts, a hacker only needs to compromise one to gain access to both. Since you will often use the same email address to log into multiple services, hackers will try your email and password combination on all the most commonly used services (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Amazon).
Accounts, such as your KPU or bank accounts, contain sensitive information (grades, financial information, SIN, tax information, etc.). Passphrases for these accounts should be unique from others, such as your social media accounts.
Why does passphrase length matter?
The longer the passphrase, the harder it is to crack.
Endpoint protection for personal computers
KPU Information Security recommends all computers use anti-virus or endpoint protection software to protect computers against known malicious software (e.g., viruses, worms, trojans, etc.) and manage the risks associated with vulnerable software and suspicious activity. Antivirus or endpoint protection software must be configured to automatically update to detect the latest security threats.
University owned computers must use Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MSDE). MSDE is available for university-owned Windows machines.
Below are some options for personally owned Windows, Mac and Linux computers. KPU Information Security provides this list as a reference only and cannot provide support for this software or personally owned devices. Additional options can be found online.