Habits to Cultivate and Avoid

 Habits to Cultivate

There are some habits that are beneficial and can make your computing life easier and smoother. Here are some habits that we feel you should make a point of cultivating:

  1. Install updates - not only from Microsoft or Apple, but also from Adobe (Flash, Acrobat) and your browser. These take care of vulnerabilities that come to light periodically. Right now, updates from Adobe are critical.
  2. Use a secure browser - Apple's Safari and Microsoft's Internet Explorer are both considered extremely insecure. Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox are both considered superior browsers and are more secure.
  3. Use "legitimate" websites - stick with websites that are higher profile. These tend to not have illegitimate content (malware) included in them. Many more people watch and examine those sites, so their programmers tend to be on top of any problems.
  4. Use a strong password/passphrase - use a passphrase made up of several words, which include numbers, upper/lower case letters, and/or symbols. Use this on your computer as well - this will protect it if it falls into the wrong hands, and will lessen any roommate pranks. . . not that there will be any roommate pranks, of course.

Habits to Avoid

This discussion is not about what you do online - you're adults and can make your own choices. You do need to realize, however that there can be bad consequences if you do things that you should not do, and we want to help you avoid those actions.

  1. DO NOT give out your password - that is your identity; do not give it away!
  2. Minimize peer to peer sharing.
  3. Avoid questionable websites.
  4. Don't click on popups.
  5. Don't automatically open attachments - if you don't know the sender or were not expecting the attachment, save it first, then scan it with your antivirus program.
  6. Do not do your confidential computing (banking; grades; etc.) in an insecure area (coffee shop, airport, etc.).
  7. Always make sure you're using https:// when doing confidential computing! The "s" means "secure."