Safe Computing

Password Safety
Maintaining a safe password is the first step in keeping electronic resources secure.
  • Never share passwords or personal identification numbers (e-mail, voice mail or otherwise).
  • Choose secure passwords. Passwords that mix random letters, digits and punctuation are harder for people and programs to crack.
  • Change passwords regularly.
  • Don't record passwords any place they would be vulnerable.
  • Watch for signs of misuse, such as sent mail that an individual did not create or unexplained logins.
  • Immediately change passwords that might be - or are suspected to be - compromised.
Keep Software Updated
Updating software is critical for safe computing. Updates often fix security vulnerabilities.
  • Check for weekly updates to anti-virus applications and critical updates for operating systems and programs weekly. Many vendors provide automatic mechanisms for online software updates. Use them.
  • Wilkes provides anti-virus software free of charge.
Do Not Share Too Much
  • If a computer or application is set to allow file sharing, ensure that proper authentication is required.
  • Only turn on services such as file sharing, printer sharing, FTP, HTTP (Web) or remote login when needed.
Be Cautious with E-Mail
Abusive e-mail can range from annoying to threatening, can violate several laws and Wilkes or departmental policy.
  • Do not reply; it often invites more abusive e-mail. Do not delete or archive problem e-mail (at least not immediately). If problems continue, each note might provide an essential clue or bit of evidence.
  • Report any problem e-mail as soon as possible. System logs that help trace messages might be retained for only a few days. Though an incident might appear minor, it might be part of a larger pattern of abuse.
  • E-mail addresses are easily forged. Do not trust e-mail with messages like "Change your password to xxxxx" and "Make money fast." Except for reporting to authorities, do not forward "chain" letters or dire warnings of viruses or disasters.
  • To protect a computer from viruses, do not open attachments, click on links from unknown sources or forward chain letters.
  • Off-topic or inappropriate postings to discussion lists should be brought to the attention of the list owner. Insults, "flames" and offensive language may violate the sender's service agreement with his or her Internet Service Provider (ISP), particularly if the ISP is a school or employer. Persistent abusive communication might qualify as harassment and should be reported.
Report Suspected Security Problems
  • Immediately report all threats to persons or property to the police. Call the Public Safety at (570) 403-4999.
  • Report suspected abuse of Wilkes computing resources to IT Services help desk by calling ext. HELP (4357) or toll free at 1-866-264-1462. Completely preserve all evidence and details of the incident. A computer that has potentially been compromised should be physically disconnected from the network.
Do Not Become a Risk
  • Be sure to use encryption when submitting credit card numbers or other sensitive data over the Internet.
  • Do not select the option to save a password when accessing a Web page.
  • Do not use your Wilkes user id and password on external entities such as personal e-mail, online shopping Web sites or instant messaging.
  • Ensure that anti-virus software is installed and maintained to avoid being infected by or spreading viruses.
  • Keep backup copies of data. Equipment or software can crash and destroy data, as can a virus or intruder.
  • Have a "Plan B" for word processing, printing, e-mail or any other important function. Power failures and equipment failures happen.
  • Tampering with computers or networks, trespassing or providing copyrighted materials without authorization violates federal laws, state laws, University policy or University contracts. These can result in loss of network access, confiscation of equipment, expulsion, fines and/or jail. Read and abide by the Acceptable Use Policy on to ensure safety.