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Preparing for Security - Students

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Computer Setup (StartSafe)

If your computer is improperly set up, does not get updates, and does not have a firewall, you are almost assured of a virus infection. Don't risk the headaches and hassles associated with a virus infection. Spend the time to StartSafe now.



Hardware failures and malicious software can both result in lost, irreplaceable data. Ensure your important data is backed up. Most computers today have either a CD-RW or DVD-RW drive that can be used more than adequately for small backups. USB storage devices can be used for larger ones. Online services also now provide free storage that can be used. In all cases, care should be taken to adequately protect sensitive data on your backups. Physical security and/or encryption can be used to protect the data.


USB Storage Devices

USB drives, thumb drives, cameras, picture frames, music players, and other devices all look like generic storage to a computer. And to a computer virus. Many of these viruses are in circulation. If you plug your device into an infected computer, it may infect your device. If you let someone plug an infected device into your computer, it may infect your computer.


Physical Security

Electronic devices today are small, valuable, and very easy to walk off with. Treat them accordingly.


Sensitive Data

Whether on your computer or on a backup device, you should take extra steps to protect sensitive data. Some options include:

  • Physical security
  • Encryption - note that losing an encryption password has the same results as losing the data. Make sure you have any passwords or encryption keys backed up in a secure location.
    • Truecrypt will work on all computers and can be downloaded free
    • MacIntosh as a File Vault utility included.
    • Windows XP and Vista have Encrypted File System (EFS) included
    • Windows Vista has BitLocker included
  • Not storing sensitive information unnecessarily


Security is interwoven into all day to day operations and decisions.  View the RUNSAFE web site for a more comprehensive look at how operational behaviors and strategic planning affect security.