DSD

Securing Your Computer

Securing Your Computer

This section provides information about all the software and instruction necessary to comply with the Desktop and Portable Computer Standard. The software on this page is intended for use by students, faculty, and staff at RIT. Inexperienced/non-technical users may want to check out our Digital Self Defense 101 Workshop, which explains the dangers of the Internet and RIT security requirements in greater detail.

Note: You do not have to use the specific software listed on this page. However, you should meet the requirements of the Desktop and Portable Computer Standard for your computer

Anti-Virus

RIT has licensed McAfee VirusScan software (available on the ITS Security & Virus Protection website) for use by students, faculty, and staff on  personally-owned computers. RIT-owned Windows computers will receive McAfee HIPS (Host Intrusion Prevention Software).

It is not necessary to use this particular anti-virus; if you prefer, you may use any of the following products.

Product

License
Company

ClamAV (Linux)

Free for personal use

Open Source

ClamXAV2 (Mac)

Free for personal use

Open Source

Norton Anti-Virus

One year paid subscription

Symantec

Trend Micro Anti-Virus

One year paid subscription

Trend Micro

avast! Anti-Virus

Free for personal use

ALWIL Software

AVG Anti-Virus

Free for personal use

Grisoft

Anti-Spyware

This should already be built into current anti-virus software.  A separate program is not needed.

Firewalls

Windows 7, Vista, XP, and Mac OS X all come with built-in firewalls; Resnet provides instructions on how to configure these built-in firewalls. If you do not want to use this firewall, RIT recommends the basic ZoneAlarm free firewall for Windows users Other firewall options may be provided by your Internet Service Provider. 

Patching/Updating

Regardless of what operating system you run, it should be up-to-date on all security patches; the easiest way to do this is to turn on the automatic update feature. Learn how to enable automatic updates for Windows and keep your Mac up-to-date automatically

Users of other operating systems such as Linux, Unix, etc., are also required to keep their operating systems up-to-date on security patches.

Software Applications should also be kept up-to-date. This can usually be done from within the program itself or through the vendor's website; some programs have an automatic update feature. Use the links below to find updates for Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe software.

ISO-Approved Private Information Management Software

  • Identify Finder (Windows, Mac)
  • Cornell Spider (Linux only)

Requirements for Faculty/Staff

Faculty and Staff

Security Standards

Standard

When does it apply?

Desktop and Portable Computer Standard Always
Password Standard Always
Information Access & Protection Standard Always
Computer Incident Handling Standard Always
Portable Media Standard If you are storing Private or Confidential information on portable media, such as USB keys, CDs, DVDs, and flash memory. If you must store Private information on portable media, the media must be encrypted.
Web Security Standard
If you have a web page at RIT, official or unofficial, and you:
  • Own, administer, or maintain an official RIT web page that hosts or provides access to Private or Confidential Information.
  • Use RIT authentication services
Signature Standard If you are sending out an e-mail, MyCourses, or Message Center communication relating to Institute academic or business purposes. This applies to both RIT and non-RIT e-mail accounts.
Server Security Standard If you own or administer any production, training, test, or development server, and/or the operating systems, applications or databases residing on it.
Network Security Standard
If you own or manage a device that:
  • Connects to the centrally-managed Institute network infrastructure
  • Processes RIT Confidential or Operationally Critical information
Account Management
  • If you create or maintain RIT computer and network accounts.
  • Managers reporting changes in access privileges/job changes of employees.
Solutions Life Cycle Management
RIT departments exploring new IT services (including third-party and RIT-hosted, and software as a service) that meet any one or more of the following:
  • Host or provide access to Private or Confidential information
  • Support a Critical Business Process
Disaster Recovery

For business continuity and disaster recovery.  Applies to any RIT process/function owners and organizations who use RIT information resources.

NOTE The “in compliance by” date for this standard is January 23, 2016.
Authentication Service Provider Standard

If you are providing authentication services on network resources owned or leased by RIT.

NOTE The Authentication Service Provider Standard will retire on January 23, 2015 and be replaced by the Account Management Standard.

All instances of non-compliance with published standards must be documented through the exception process.

Information Handling Quick Links

Link Overview
Digital Self Defense 103 - Information Handling Covers important security issues at RIT and best practices for handling information safely.
Disposal Recommendations How to safely dispose of various types of media to ensure RIT Confidential information is destroyed.
Recommended and Acceptable Portable Media List of recommended and acceptable portable media devices (such as USB keys, CDs, DVDs, and flash memory).
Mobile Device Usage Recommendations Recommendations for mobile device usage at RIT
VPN Recommended for wireless access to RIT Confidential information.
E-mail at RIT Improve the security of your e-mail at RIT.

Safe Practices

  • Visit our Keeping Safe section to find security resources and safe practices and to see our schedule of upcoming workshops.

Questions

If you have questions or feedback about specific information security requirements, please contact us.

Online Safety

Online Safety

Everyone connected to the Internet is a potential target. Use of anti-virus and firewall software is critical in protecting your computer online; however, simply protecting your computer is not enough. 

Web Browsers

Cyber criminals often target vulnerabilities in web browsers. Because Internet Explorer is the web browser used by most people, it has become a primary target. Using a different browser can reduce your risk while on the web. The table below lists alternative browsers:

Browser

Operating System

License

Firefox

Mac, Windows, Linux

Free (open source)

Chrome

Mac, Windows, Linux

Free

Opera

Mac, Windows, Linux

Free

Safari

Mac OS X

Free

Configure Settings

Changing the default security settings can help protect you while browsing.  Learn more here.

Update Regularly

It is important to keep your browser up-to-date on security patches. This can typically be done from within the browser, or directly from the vendor’s website. Check for updates at least monthly.

Note: If you use Internet Explorer with RIT Oracle Applications, you may not be able to use the newest versions of Internet Explorer are not certified for compatibility with Oracle at this time.

Use Limited Account Privileges

Learn more here.

Be Smart With What you Do Online

View our pages on Social Networking and Online Banking/Shopping.  Also look for posts on our blog about identity theft, online banking, and scams. 

E-mail at RIT

E-mail at RIT

E-mail is a standard communication tool. Unfortunately, it is also an ideal channel for social engineering and phishing attempts; protect yourself and your information.

Managing Your RIT E-mail

Visit the ITS E-mail Services page for RIT e-mail account set-up and usage resources.

E-mail Signatures

RIT requires all communications relating to Institute academic or business purposes to be signed with an appropriate signature. This includes e-mails from both RIT and non-RIT accounts, as well as MyCourses and Message Center communications. For more information on the new requirements, visit our Signature Standard web page.

RIT Confidential Information in E-mail

When sending RIT Confidential information through e-mail, the subject line of the e-mail must state that the information is RIT Confidential, and must reference the subject. For example:

From: RIT Employee A
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2008 10:05 AM
To: RIT Employee B
Subject: RIT Confidential - Performance Review
Signed By: employeeA @rit.edu

Body of e-mail...........

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: The information transmitted, including attachments, is intended only for the person(s) or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and destroy any copies of this information.

Password

Passwords

Having a strong password is increasingly important. Weak passwords can be "guessed" or "cracked" using free software available online, allowing unauthorized access that can result in identity crimes, extortion, or damage to reputation through the disclosure of sensitive or private information (yours and RIT's). Choosing a strong password and changing it regularly are two of the most important things you can do to protect yourself online.  Follow the password standard and subscribe to our social media outlets for password tips and tricks!

Password Standard

Documented Standard

Summary

  • Be at least 8 characters long (a longer passphrase is preferred)
  • Use both upper and lower case letters and at least one number, and one special character
    • We suggest putting numbers and special characters in the middle of the password, not at the beginning or end
  • Change it annually (at a minimum)
  • DO NOT use your username
  • DO NOT reuse for at least six changes of password

For more information, visit Creating Strong Passwords

RIT Computer Accounts

To change the password for your RIT Computer Account, visit http://start.rit.edu. Contact the ITS HelpDesk (585-475-HELP) if you've forgotten your password or it is not working.
 

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