The MCAD Technology department wants to share some best practices regarding keeping your computer and data safe. These tips are not MCAD specific, and are good guidelines to follow in general. Even if you’ve heard some of them before, it’s worth repeating.
0) BACKUPS – If your computer is compromised, stolen or your hard-drive fails and you don't have a timely backup, you’ll likely lose all of your data. Purchasing an inexpensive external hard-drive and using Time Machine for backups is dead simple and Help Desk’s recommended method. In addition, all faculty, staff, and students have storage space available on a variety of MCAD servers where they can backup important data. Please stop by the Help Desk to inquire about your options. Do it before you lose something important.
1) PASSWORDS – Please remember that your standard MCAD username/password combo allows you access into virtually every electronic service that MCAD provides. We want your account access to be secure. Please be sure to pick a strong password (8 or more characters, with a mix of numbers, symbols, and capitals) and keep it safe. Reusing the same password on more than one system is a serious security risk and should be avoided by using a password manager like 1Password, Password Wallet, etc to manage and keep your various unique and strong passwords.\
2) SOCIAL ENGINEERING – It’s common for scam artists to impersonate IT workers to trick you into giving out your password or other sensitive information. MCAD's IT and Help Desk will NEVER ask for your password. If you receive a call or email from someone asking for your password, it's a scam. In addition, be wary when installing software from an unverified source. If when installing software you are asked for your laptop password, please think twice. Malware can impersonate legitimate software and ruin everything.
3) GOOGLE DOCS – In all of its forms, Google Docs, gives MCAD an unprecedented ability to collaborate interactively on documents with other members of the MCAD community – it's pretty awesome. However, the ability to collaborate also means that it is possible to share documents more widely than intended. We've put together a KB article on the ins and outs of the security of Google Docs, please take the time to read it to understand how the sharing security of Google Docs works.
4) SCREENSAVER – We highly encourage using a password protected screensaver on all MCAD computers. This prevents someone from easily accessing your data if you leave your machine unattended. To enable the screensaver password, go to “System Preferences”, click on “Security & Privacy”, and click the “Require password” checkbox on the “General” tab. It’s that easy.
5) PHISHING / SPAM – If you receive an offer via email that looks too good to be true, "Can I deposit $100,000 in your checking account?" or an unexpected and odd message from someone you know, or used to know -- it's most likely a scam. Please don't reply and simply delete the message. Please contact Help Desk if you receive any suspicious messages.
6) PHYSICAL SECURITY – Do not leave your laptop unattended, either in class, in the cafeteria, in studio, or out in the world. Laptops get stolen. A lot. If you would like to investigate a detachable cable to secure your laptop, please stop by the Help Desk.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your computer or anything else, please don't hesitate to contact the Help Desk — it's in our name, we're here to help.