This guide provides a checklist of instructions and tips to help ensure the security of your desktop or laptop computers.
Computer security checklist
1. Choose Strong Passwords:
- Use passwords that can't be easily guessed, and protect your passwords.
- Don't share your passwords and avoid writing them down.
- New passwords should not be the same as recent passwords.
- Characteristics of good, cryptic passwords:
- Contain a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols
- Consist of at least 8 characters in length
- Are difficult to guess (e.g. don't include real words or personal information like user name, names of family members, places, pets, birthdays, addresses, hobbies, etc.)
- Are easy to remember (so you don't have to write them down)
2. Password protect all of your devices, software, and applications with sensitive material:
- Work computer
- Personal computer
- Mobile telephone
- Tablet or other electronic device
3. Minimize storage of sensitive information:
- Avoid unnecessary retention of sensitive information, and store information on a secure network drive rather than a workstation or laptop hard drive whenever possible.
- Never keep sensitive information or your only copy of critical data, projects, files, etc, on portable mobile devices unless they are properly protected.
4. Log off / shut down:
- Log off your computer or put your computer to sleep before leaving it unattended.
- Make sure your computer requires a secure password to start up or wake up.
- Set your computer and portable devices to automatically lock when they are not being used.
- Shut down your desktop computer before leaving the office and turn off your laptop computer at night.