Skip to main content

Safe Computing Guidelines

We make every effort to create a safe computing environment for the University of Guelph-Humber community. We do everything we can to protect your private information, but there are many things you can do yourself to make your computing experience a safe one. These are just a few tips to help keep your computer and identity safe.

  1. Use a strong password and never share it with anyone. Your password is your identity at the university. Never store it on a browser or in an application. You should not write your password down, but if you must, never store it with your login ID or in an easily accessible location (e.g., under the keyboard).
  2. Always lock your computer when you walk away from your desk.
    Windows users: Alt+Control+Delete quickly allows you to lock your computer.

    Mac users: Open the application “Keychain”, select “Preferences”, then select “Show Keychain Status in Menu Bar”. This allows you to lock your desktop by clicking on the lock icon now visible in the menu bar.
  3. Save data to the network drive not the hard drive (lab or work computers). If you do store personal information on any external drive, take steps to secure this information using encryption. Make sure you securely erase information on this drive when you’re done with it.
  4. Install a current antivirus program and regularly scan your computer for spyware and adware. Always keep your operating system up to date and secure by installing the latest software updates. This also applies to your mobile devices – keep them up to date with the latest, secure operating systems, and make sure your devices have security passcodes to protect your personal information.
  5. Do not open suspicious emails or unexpected email attachments, as they may contain a computer virus. Be informed about hoaxes, scams or phishing attacks. Often, these come in the form of a message from a supposedly trusted source asking for confidential information. The university will never ask for your login information through email.
  6. Be cautious about how you use social networking sites. Posting personal information to social networking sites (like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) makes it available in the public domain for all to see. The information cannot be permanently deleted from the Internet. Also, be careful with the people you add as friends or connections. If you don’t know the person, don’t add them. They may be trying to steal your personal information or get your friends to share your personal information. Remember, if it is something you wouldn’t tell your grandmother, don’t share it with the world online.
  7. When you’re working off-site or on a personal computer, use University of Guelph’s Virtual Private Network (VPN). Connecting to VPN allows you to securely connect to the university's network from anywhere with an Internet connection. This communication software ensures the security of the connection by encrypting all data sent between your computer and the university network while making your connection appear to be exactly the same as if you were connecting on campus.

    Want to know more about protecting your personal computer? Visit the University of Guelph’s protecting your PC website.