January Security Post: Keep What's Private, Private

You exist in digital form all over the Internet. Guard your privacy, not just to avoid embarrassment but also to protect your reputation and finances. Following are specific steps you can take to protect your online information, identity, and privacy.

  • Turn on 2-step verification: https://oit.williams.edu/help-docs/2-factor-authentication/ A second authentication protects your accounts even if someone gets your password. 288 faculty, staff and students have already signed up at Williams – join us!
  • Use a unique password for each site: http://oit.williams.edu/help-docs/creating-a-strong-and-unique-password/. Hackers often use previously compromised information to access other sites. Choosing unique passwords keeps that risk to a minimum.
  • Use a password manager: https://oit.williams.edu/files/2016/09/PasswordManagers-pdf-1.pdf. Using an password manager like LastPass to store your passwords makes it easy to access and use a unique password for each site. It also helps protect from phishing and website redirect scams since the password manager won’t enter credentials to unfamiliar sites.
  • Know what you are sharing. Check the privacy settings on all of your social media accounts; some even include a wizard to walk you through the settings. Be cautious about what you post publicly.
  • Guard your date of birth and telephone number. These are key pieces of information used for verification, and you should not share them publicly. If an online service or site asks you to share this critical information, consider whether it is important enough to warrant it.
  • Keep your work and personal presences separate. This also helps you ensure uninterrupted access to your private e-mail and other services if you switch employers.
  • Remember that you what post can last a lifetime. Use the postcard or billboard test: Would you be comfortable with everyone seeing your pictures, videos or posts?