Help Desk

Information Technology

Ten Steps to Safer Computing

Keeping your data safe from various risks--hardware failure, theft, accidents, and prying eyes--is key to protecting the integrity and confidentiality of your information.  With 10 simple steps, it's easy to develop good habits that will keep your data safe and secure:

  1. Don't store confidential data on your computer unless you must. You should never store any Reed confidential data on a personally-owned computer.
  2. If storing confidential data on your computer is necessary, delete it (securely) as soon as you're done with it.
  3. Confidential data stored on your computer should be encrypted.
  4. Data on your computer should be backed up frequently and the backup should be kept in a secure location.
  5. Passwords should be at least 8 characters long, should include letters, numbers, and special symbols, and should be managed carefully. For more information on making strong passwords, see our page here.
  6. Whenever possible, do not store confidential information on handheld devices. If you must do so, see the IT recommendation.
  7. Do not send confidential information via email.
  8. Take appropriate precautions to avoid viruses, worms, and other attacks on your computer.
  9. Set a password to wake your computer from sleep or screen saver mode.  Do not set your computer to automatically login
  10. Take appropriate measures to protect your computer from theft.  If you have a laptop, use a security cable during business hours and lock the laptop in a secure cabinet at nights and over the weekend.

Contact Computer User Services (or ACS for administrative staff) with any questions.