Use Secure Passwords & Caution on Open Wi-Fi

This is the last of the updates for National Cyber Security Awareness Month.  Today we are going to look at passwords, web browsing and open Wi-Fi networks.

Strong Passwords

Why are secure passwords so important?

If someone knows your network password they have access to your email, your network files, your JayWeb account, your Blackboard account and other college accounts.  Besides using the accounts to access your personal information, they may use them in nefarious ways and do harm to your reputation.  Don’t give your password to anyone. Look at these knowledgebase articles for information on choosing secure passwords and changing your network password.

Use Caution on Open Wi-Fi networks

Many organizations provide open Wi-Fi networks.  This is common in hotels, coffee shops and other public locations.  Elizabethtown College provides an open network called EC_OPEN_WIFI.  These networks are usually easy to connect to and easy to use.  There is a downside though.  The data on these networks is not encrypted and someone using snooping software can watch and record what you are doing on non-secure websites.  There are a number of things you should know to secure your web browser and browse the web securely.  Many of them can be found in this knowledgebase article.  We would recommend that you use an encrypted secure Wi-Fi connection, but if you must use an open Wi-Fi network off campus, we would recommend that you use VPN software to secure your browsing session.

If  you’d like to review the other tips, they can be found in these ITS blog posts:

  1. Gone Phishing
  2. Protecting Personally Identifiable Information
  3. Protecting Personally Identifiable Information – Part 2

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