Throughout the new millennium the Internet has becoming integrated with every aspect of our lives. In 2012 74.8% of all US households have Internet use at home. We use this marvel of technology for everything from catching up with old friends to making money, and it is important that we protect ourselves when venturing out in to this new frontier.
With the ease of accessing campus resources from the web it is almost a guarantee that members of the campus community will access protected data from their home computer(s). Each member of the campus community has a responsibility to ensure that they are taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves and the campus from a potential breach of this information.
To maintain a secure computing environment at home we recommend you take the following actions:
It is also recommended that you change password to important log-in credentials on a regular set interval. This includes websites such as, banking websites, primary email and other sites which would allow a malicious entity access to your personal private data. This ensures that if an adversary somehow gets your password, they only have access for at most the interval between when you change your passwords.
CougarApps is a technology to provide access to software licensed by the campus that would otherwise be unavailable at home. CougarApps creates an encrypted connection to our campus network, so it is a safe and secure way to connect to campus resources. CougarApps should always be your primary method of accessing confidential data from off-campus. More information on CougarApps.
Single Sign-On (SSO) allows users to enter their credentials once for a given set of linked websites, and remain logged in to all of the linked sites. Example: I sign in to Zoom through my web browser, and then I can sign in to Box without having to enter my log in credentials a second time.
While this is a wonderful feature that saves us time and headaches, it’s not without its faults. If you sign in any one of the linked sites using SSO, you must fully close the browser to ensure that you have logged off of all SSO sites. For Google Chrome users this is especially relevant because newer versions of Chrome stay open in the background, and require users to close the browser from the task bar.
Some of the web applications that use Single Sign-On here at CSUSM are:
Unprotected Wi-Fi is one of the most dangerous things out there. You connect to a hotel or Starbucks Wi-Fi and assume that it is safe, but really it’s not. Over an unsecured or unprotected Wi-Fi network is it easy for an adversary to see all your web traffic because the data is not encrypted or protected in any way. The same goes for your home Wi-Fi. If I drive around the neighborhood and find that your Wi-Fi is not secured with a passphrase I can easily connect, and then trick your computer in to thinking that I am the router, thereby seeing any and all network traffic that is taking place on your network.
For an enlightening read go to PC World article to see a few of the things that attackers can view over unprotected Wi-Fi.
If you see a warning like the one shown above be very conscious of the things you access while connected to this network.
If you must conduct business using an unprotected Wi-Fi the following are some best practices:
The above list was created in part from information listed on PC World.
We strongly recommend that if you’re using Wi-Fi at home you take these precautions:
Learn more at: Default web interface password for netgear devices
If you're looking for a new anti-virus you can check out this website for their "Top Ten Things to Look for in an Anti-Virus Program."