We all like to have access to information when and where we need it. Whether it’s through a phone or tablet, at home or on the move, it’s easy to log into accounts, make payments or just socialise, all at the touch of a button. In fact, we use technology so regularly for work and play, it’s easy to overlook some basic ways to keep information safe and avoid hacking, information loss and identity theft.
With cybercrime on the increase, it’s never been more important to stay informed and protected. This page is here to equip you with the knowledge, skills and tools to make the right decisions, keeping both you and your information safe.
There was a time when scam emails were pretty easy to spot. Fragmented text from an unusual email address, coupled with an unwelcome level of familiarity, meant pressing ‘delete’ was never simpler. Now, it seems there is no limit to how far fraudsters will go to appear trustworthy and the threat extends well beyond email into face to face scams and fake phone calls and websites. This kind of activity is known as ‘social engineering’ and is designed to appear convincing, imitating reliable sources such as a bank, shop or University department.
There are some basic ways you can stop fraudsters gaining access.
Keeping your information safe, especially if it’s confidential, is key when working or studying at the University of Hull. Remember that the confidentiality of data is just as important for information in paper form as it is for information in digital format. Staff or students working with personal data, including 'sensitive' information as defined by the Data Protection Act need to be particularly careful, as do staff and students working with research data that might be equally sensitive or valuable to malicious attackers.
Trying to keep your desk tidy may sometimes seem like an impossible challenge but it does help you to stay in control of what’s visible on your desk. Sensitive documents should be locked away if you leave your desk unattended. Equally, failing to lock your computer and leaving accounts, personal data or confidential information open on your computer may prompt someone to take advantage of the situation. Always make sure you know who is watching you, especially if you think they might be shoulder-browsing.
If you leave your desk to go to a meeting or make a cup of tea make sure you either log out of your account or lock your computer. You can lock a PC by holding down CTRL ALT DELETE on your keyboard or by using the Windows key + L combination.
If you are using a public or shared computer to work on, ensure you log out all your accounts before leaving and do not use the ‘save password’ function.
It may be very convenient to make use of that 'free' Wi-Fi unexpectedly offered somewhere, but unless you know, and trust, who is offering the service it would be unwise to access services such as University email or online banking over it. You should also exercise caution when using Wi-Fi in untrusted environments attackers can use 'man-in-the-middle' techniques to trick people into using rogue Wi-Fi access points where passwords can be captured.