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Security Considerations While Working Remotely

Phishing, watering-hole, and other “social engineering” attacks

  • Remember that our technical defenses, while good, cannot fully protect you or Palm Beach State College. Attackers know that employees are often a weak link in security and will most often target you to get what they want. You and your actions remain our best defense against these attacks.
  • Beware of unexpected multifactor authentication requests. If you receive a request to approve a connection you did not start, do not approve the request. Report the unexpected request to the service desk.
  • Beware of emails and other messages that purport to contain some breaking news, surprising information, or other urgent message ‒ especially related to COVID-19 ‒ to entice you to act.
  • Visit only trusted websites for information on the pandemic. Beware of sites advertised in social media posts or sites luring visitors through urgent or inflammatory messages.
  • Because even legitimate sites may become compromised and used to distribute malicious software, limit unnecessary browsing on company assets. Do not allow family members to use your company equipment for personal use, which can expose the system to unexpected browsing activity.


Controlling data sprawl and loss

  • Use only approved solution to transfer data:
    • For internal collaboration and sharing, use the authorized solutions provisioned by the IT department.
    • For external collaboration and sharing, use the solution authorized and provisioned by the IT department. Contact the Service Desk if you need assistance using these tools.
    • Do not use unauthorized file-sharing sites (e.g., Box, Dropbox).
    • Do not email data to your personal email account or transfer data to unapproved portable storage devices.
    • Do not email unencrypted sensitive data to external parties. If you send an individually encrypted file, secure it with a strong password, and do not send the password by email.
  • Use only approved conferencing solutions, and ensure your location is secure.
    • For internal and external conferencing, use the solutions authorized and provisioned by the IT department. Contact the Service Desk for assistance.
    • Ensure that others cannot overhear private conversations when you are working in a shared workspace.


Protecting data on remote networks

  • Use secure, known networks.
  • Disconnect from the VPN and/or Remote Desktop Web Connection before conducting personal tasks like searches, email, social media, etc. to secure institutional systems and data.
  • If you or a family member has the technical ability to do so, ensure your home Wi-Fi router is protected with the WPA2 or WPA3 encryption setting; ensure your router/modem and internet service provider (ISP) portal are configured with a strong, unique password; and enable software updates for all routers and modems.
  • If you’re using a personal device for work, be sure to install, use and automatically update antivirus software and tools, some of which are included with Windows 10.
  • If you’re using a personal device for work, make sure the operating system and other relevant applications (e.g., Firefox, Chrome, Edge, & Adobe) have the latest system updates.
  • Make sure your laptops, phones, tablets and other devices require a password, fingerprint or facial recognition in order to unlock them.
  • Never give up your login information or passwords to anyone, ever! Nobody with real authority (like Microsoft or your IT team) needs this information.
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