“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

Okay, maybe it’s not the most wonderful time for students, but it is a wonderful time to talk about getting your students back into the swing of things, security-wise. Based on my experiences within the business side of technology and security, there are a few reminders I’d like to offer to both students and parents as the back-to-school time is upon us.

  • Physical security: While passwords and antivirus protection are important (more on that below), you also need to ensure that your actual computer is secure. If you have a laptop, make sure it has a lock. Additionally, make sure your student knows not to leave their laptop unattended – it would be too simple for a loose hand to snatch up your student’s Macbook while they wait in line for a drink at the local coffee shop.
  • Data security: Passwords are a simple fix to keeping your personal information safe; the more complex, the better (see this article for more: http://bit.ly/a6blgU). Also, make sure your passwords are varied – don’t use the same password for both online banking and iTunes, for example. Antivirus protection is important, but it’s even more important that regular updates are schedules for your software. You are only as good as your last update!
  • On-campus support: Make sure your student knows how to access the on-campus IT support group. Is there a hotline they can call if something suspicious occurs on their computer? What about a computer lab? Most of this information can be found on the university’s website.
  • Additional security measures: Understanding the warranties of your electronic gear could be the difference between a $0 repair and a costly replacement. Also, consider utilizing in-store repair groups if an IT issue comes up. It’s also essential to ensure your data is backed-up – there are a plethora of cloud options available for data storage online.

Any additional thoughts for students heading back to school? What are your go-to IT tips?

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