Security :: Information Security Basics

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Humboldt State University's Information Security Team collaborates with faculty, staff and students to keep campus computing systems running smoothly and important data protected and secure.

Information Security Organization

Information Security Plan. Secure data and infrastructure protecting confidentiality, availability and integrity.

Security training & awareness. Training and awareness are the cornerstones of information security. HSU faculty and staff are required to take information security awareness training.

Campus information security infrastructure. The HSU information security infrastructure consists of tools and equipment that protect computers and networks. HSU's campus infrastructure is designed to be as unobtrusive as possible while still maintaining a high degree of protection against malware, hackers, and data breaches.  

Responsibility. Freely-available computing, communication, and information resources are so key for everyone at HSU that it is imperative everyone recognizes the need for responsible use. Irresponsible or inappropriate use of computing resources risks not only the security and availability of those resources but also puts individuals and the University at risk of legal action by any party becoming a victim of the consequences of such behaviors.

Protecting Yourself and Others

The single most important way to protect yourself and others against cybercrime is simple - keep your passwords secret. NEVER share your passwords with ANYONE! No one at HSU will EVER ask for your password, not even the Technology Help Desk.

Top 10 security measures. Easy-to-implement suggestions that will keep your data and your identity safe while you're at HSU and beyond. 

Annual Credit Report Monitoring. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three national consumer credit reporting agencies on request once a year. It is an important step in helping to prevent identity theft.

5 ways to avoid being hacked. A cautionary video and news story gives quick tips on how to avoid being hacked. 

Protecting confidential information. "Protected information" is an umbrella term used at HSU to describe information linked to an individual person's identity, such as their Social Security number, driver's license data, and credit card or bank account information (sometimes called Personally-Identifiable Information, or PII) which can be used to facilitate identity theft. Learn more about the steps HSU takes to protect the confidential data stored on its networks.

Keep your system up-to-date. Today's security threats are heavily focused on exploiting vulnerabilities in common operating systems and applications, so one of the most important ways you can keep your information safe is to ensure that your OS, browser, and other widely-used applications such as Adobe's Acrobat Reader are kept up to date. 

Single sign-on security. Single Sign-on is how the myHumboldt portal provides instant access to many HSU services. This page provides tips and information to help you protect yourself and others in a single sign-on environment.

Passwords and digital identities. The key to effective identity management is good password management.

Encryption. Encryption converts data into a secure form that can be safely transferred and helps HSU meet the legal and policy obligations that apply to University data storage. 

Antivirus software. Be sure to install and keep updated one of the antivirus programs on HSU's recommended list.

Threat Information

There are many information security threats that we need to be aware of and protect against in order to ensure our sensitive information remains secure. False alarms can cause more problems than the real event, so educate yourself on what is - and, just as importantly, what isn't - a threat to computer security.

Threat landscape. Malware, viruses and bots can come from any direction. Staying on top of alerts, strong passwords, and keeping your operating system and antivirus software current on updates will go a long way to help. 

Phishing scams. Attempts by hackers and cyberciminals to steal personal information or hijack computing resources for nefarious purposes by deception. 

Spam. Spam is so cheap to send that spammers only need a few sales to make a profit; some reports now put the percentage of email that's spam at 95% and rising. The only way to stop spam is for everyone in the world to not respond.

Viruses and malware. Malware includes viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, adware, scareware, rootkits, exploits, and any other piece of software designed to disrupt, destroy or steal valuable information.

P2P file-sharing & copyright violations. Learn how to avoid the pitfalls and potential sanctions associated with unauthorized file-sharing.