Here’s a few quick safe browsing tips to help you stay secure while you surf the web.
- Use HTTPS: The “s” in “https” stands for secure, meaning that the website uses encryption. Check for an “https:” or a padlock icon in your browser’s URL bar to verify that a site is secure before entering any personal information.
- Avoid unsecured public or open Wi-Fi whenever possible: Attackers use wireless sniffers to steal users’ information sent over unsecured, open networks. Secured networks usually require you to register an account or type in a password before connecting. If you’re stuck and need to connect outside of a trusted network, there are some things you can do to protect yourself, such as using a personal mobile hotspot instead or connecting through a VPN.
- Login with a unique password: Password managers like LastPass (available at no cost to SJSU students, faculty, and staff) suggest super strong passwords unique for every account you have. Avoid alternative options that log you in with accounts from other sites (e.g., don’t “Log in with Facebook”) – make unique accounts with unique passwords for each site.
- Add multi-factor authentication (MFA) to your personal accounts: Equipping your accounts with MFA very quickly makes them exponentially more safeguarded from many access-based attacks. All SJSU accounts already use Duo MFA for protection. Ideally, any account that has access to sensitive information, like your personal data or banking info, should be protected with MFA as well. PCMag has a great article about how to set up MFA on many common platforms.
Thanks to the entire Information Security team for helping keep our university secure and for providing these tips. As always, the SJSU IT Service Desk is here to help by phone at (408) 924-1530 or online.
Vice President for Information Technology
and CIO at San Jose State University