Security Top 10

Whether you're staff, faculty, or student, by familiarizing yourself with - and acting on - the information on this page, you'll go a long way towards ensuring you don't become a victim of identity theft or suffer a catastrophic loss of data during your time at APU.

1. Use a strong password

A strong password is the best way to protect yourself against identity theft and unauthorized access to your confidential information. Read our tips for creating a strong, memorable password.

2. Protect confidential information

Students, staff, and faculty all have access to information that must not be shared, including your password. Familiarize yourself with the applicable laws and policies which govern these records and act accordingly.

3. Make sure your operating system and virus protection are up-to-date

That way, you'll avoid becoming vulnerable to hackers and others looking to steal information. You are required to do this before you can connect to the APU wireless network.

4. Use secure and supported applications

Any software you install has the potential to be exploited by hackers, so be very careful to only install applications from a trusted source. The use of pirated software is illegal and in breach of APU's Internet Acceptable Use Policy.

5. Be wary of suspicious e-mails

Don't become a phishing victim. Learn how to recognize the signs of a hidden attack. Never click on a link in an email; if you're tempted, cut and paste the url into your browser. That way, there's a good chance your browser will block the page if it's bad. And don't open email attachments until you've verified their legitimacy with the sender.

6. Store confidential information only on APU servers

CDs, DVDs, and USB drives are all convenient ways to store data; the trouble is, they're just as convenient for thieves as for you. Wherever possible, store confidential information in your network folder or other protected central space.

7. Back up your data … and make sure you can restore it

If your computer becomes infected or the hardware fails, you may be unable to retrieve important information. So make sure your data is backed up regularly - and test that backup from time to time to make the the restore works correctly. Check with the IMT Support Desk if you need help with this.

8. Protect information in all its forms

Protecting your digital data is important. But paper and the human voice remain important elements of the security mix. Keep confidential printed information in locked file cabinets and shredded when no longer required. If you're talking about confidential information on the phone, take appropriate steps to ensure you're not overheard.

9. Learn to be security-aware

Take advantage of the information security awareness training that's freely available on the web. If you haven't received an invitation to take the training, contact iso@apu.edu for the appropriate link.

10. If you're unsure about something - ask!

In addition to this web site, there are many resources on campus to help you; start with the IMT Support Desk. Questions or concerns specific to your role at the University should be referred to your supervisor or advisor.