Whoa! Back (it) up! National Cyber Security Awareness Month Tip for Wednesday

10/03/2012

Contributed by Kris Monroe

Keep a Clean Machine:
This week we’re giving you tips on keeping your personally owned computer safe, secure, and speedy!

Data Backup:
Prevention is the best defense, and regularly backing up your data in case of an attack is always a safe idea. With the price of external hard drives falling below $100/TB, purchasing a backup drive is a very smart investment to help ease the effects of data loss. Contact the Student Computer Repair Center (http://www.ithaca.edu/its/help/scrc/) if assistance is necessary for this service.
 

Password Backup:
In the event that passwords cannot be memorized, there are a few ways to minimize the security risk inherent in storing passwords in clear text. While some people recommend not to, one option is to keep passwords physically written down in a secure or locked location with no reference to their use. Security guru, Bruce Schneier, says to write it down and keep with other paper you value – in your wallet!  But writing “Gmail password is aardvark” in sharpie and framing it above your desk is not a good idea. Another moderately secure way is to store hints about the passwords in deeply-hidden digital text files, preferably in an encrypted archive (.zip or .rar) file. Keep reading our cyber-security tips of the day for more info on choosing great passwords!

Other Tips:
-Keep all sensitive documents on your personal computer backed up and encrypted using a program such as AxCrypt or TrueCrypt.
-Keep passwords in a password management program such as Password Safe, KeePass, or 1Password.

Visit http://www.ithaca.edu/its/general/security/computer/ for more information!

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