Security Awareness – Protect your identity, your device, and your data

Security Awareness

Protecting your devices, safeguarding your data and identity

Regardless of what technology you are using or where you are using it, protect yourself.

YOU: The most critical part of staying secure is you. Cyber attackers have learned that the easiest way to get something is to ask for it directly. As a result, common sense is your best defense. If an email, message, or phone call seems odd, suspicious, or too good to be true, it may be an attack.

UPDATING: Ensure your computer, mobile device, and apps are updated and always running the latest version of their software. Whenever possible, enable automatic updating.

ENCRYPTION: Ensure your computer, mobile device, and apps are updated and always running the latest version of their software. Whenever possible, enable automatic updating.

BACKUPS: Make sure you do regular backups of any critical information. Often, the only way you can recover from a computer or device that has been hacked, lost, or stolen is to recover from your backups.

PASSWORDS: Secure passwords.

  • Always use long, strong passwords; the more characters you have, the better. Even better, use two-step verification whenever it is possible.
  • Use a unique password for every device and account. Can’t remember all of your passwords? Use a password manager for securely storing and retrieving your passwords.
  • Do not share your passwords with anyone.
Protecting Devices

Securing Mobile Devices

Securing your mobile devices and smartphones is as relevant or perhaps even more critical as securing your computer. Your smartphone contains a wealth of personal information such as pictures, passwords, email, phone numbers, and contacts. A lost or stolen or unsecured smartphone could expose personal data and lead to identity theft and fraud.

Below is a short list of some basic Smartphone safety tips to help protect your smartphone.

  • Password-protect your device.
  • Keep your operating system updated.
  • Enable strong password protection on your device and include a timeout requiring authentication after a period of inactivity.
  • Download applications from reliable resources such as the Apple Store and Google Play.
  • Be cautious with public Wi-Fi, only connect to secure networks you know. Avoid unidentified Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • Disable Bluetooth and Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities when not in use.
  • Review your mobile device manual to learn about the specific features of the device.
  • Backup your device on a regular basis.
  • Install a locator app.
  • Be sure to wipe your mobile device using the built it “factory reset” function to delete your data before returning, reselling or discarding your smartphone.


Securing Desktops and Laptops

Keeping your computer safe and secure has become more difficult as computers are interconnected through the Internet and other networks.

Safety tips to help secure and protect your computer:

  • Keep your firewall turned on.
  • Do not buy security software in response to unexpected pop-up messages or emails.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Set your operating system to update automatically.
  • Use the most current version of your browser.
  • Do not install plugins or add-ons into your browser unless you need them to run a particular application.
  • Keep all essential browser plugins and add-ons update to date.
  • Back up your files.
  • Do not download unfamiliar software from the Internet. If you must, run a virus scan on the download before installing the application.
  • Log off or lock your computer when leaving the device unattended.
  • Do not open attachments from unknown sources.
  • Do not use free public or unencrypted (unsecured) Wifi.
Securing a Wireless Network

Unless you take steps to secure your router, you are vulnerable to people accessing the information on your computer, using your Internet service for free, and potentially using your network to commit cybercrimes. Change the default factory setting of your wireless router.

Below is a list of simple tips for keeping your wireless network secure. Review the manual of your wireless network for detailed information on changing the setting.

  • Change the default name (SSID – Service Set Identifier) of your router.
  • Change the default password.
  • Change the security level to WAP or WAP2 if available.
  • Best Practices for Keeping Your Home Network Secure
Training for Employees

Brookdale Community College takes the security of its organization, users, and data seriously. To help protect our confidential information and assets, Brookdale has implemented a Security Awareness Training program through SafeColleges. The goal of this long-term program is to not only to meet all compliance and legal requirements but also to secure employees and the organization by educating employees about the potential security threats and changing their behaviors. The required training module includes the following topics:

  • Email & Messaging Safety (12 minutes)
  • Browser Security Basics (15 minutes)
  • Protection Against Malware (15 minutes)

Access Training from SafeColleges

  • Click to log into SafeColleges.
  • Enter your NetID username
  • If modules are not listed, select the Extra Training button, Information Technology category for access to the topics

If you should need assistance using SafeColleges or experience technical difficulties, please call 1-800-434-0154.

Any other question, please contact either Linda DeButts, Manager of Professional Development – HR, or Crane Kanthajan, Manager – HR Services,

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