Protect Your Device Physically and Digitally

Protecting your device includes both physical and digital security.

We’ve written about preventing theft and registering your computer with Tech Services so we can help find it if it is stolen. But what can you do to protect your device from hackers, prying eyes, viruses, and other digital threats?

Follow the tips below to help protect your device and control your online presence.

  • Setup two accounts on your computer: Often times, people set themselves as an administrator on a computer and log into that for daily use, when in reality, he or she seldom needs administrator access. Should someone access your device while in the administrator account they have far more access than if you’re using a standard, non-administrator account.

  • Keep software and anti-malware up to date: Anti-malware is often updated daily. Software updates are less frequent, but still important. These updates frequently address security concerns. Updating frequently will help you protect against vulnerabilities.

  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN): Always try to use a protected network (one you have to know the password for). If you’re in public, say at Starbucks, using an open network, use a VPN. Think of VPN like a tube at a bank drive-through. When you make a deposit and push send, your money goes to one teller. When using a VPN, you are creating a tunnel directly connected to campus, so your data is safe and secure.  This will protect your network traffic from potential identity thieves looking to steal your information over the open network.

    • Technology Services offers VPN to the Urbana-Champaign campus. VPN can be used on computers, tablets and phones.

  • Manage your location: A number of websites and social media tools request to know your location. It’s important to know what happens with your location information. And keep in mind who can see it: anyone online can gather a lot of information about you, including your whereabouts, so consider the breadth of your sharing. The video below is a good reminder about protecting your data, and yourself, on social media.