Information Security Digest VOL. 5 - August 2020

August 1, 2020
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Dear Members of the Harvard Community,

Welcome to the August issue of the Information Security Digest. Most of us are still working remotely, so this newsletter features more important tips to keep you and your data secure at home. If you have questions about anything security-related, be sure to join us next Tuesday, August 11, for an 'Ask Me Anything' event - sign up below.

Wishing you a safe, secure, and relaxing summer!

Christian Hamer

Chief Information Security Officer, Harvard University

Click Wisely

Hackers often spoof the identities of trusted contacts to try to get you to open unsafe links. Even if an email looks like it was sent by someone you know, if something seems suspicious it’s best to reach out to them via a means other than email to confirm. Harvard’s systems will flag emails that look like they’re spoofing a legitimate account with the following warning: “WARNING: Harvard cannot validate this message was sent from an authorized system. Please be careful when opening attachments, clicking links, or following instructions."

Apply Updates

When you're working remotely, connecting to Harvard's virtual private network (VPN) ensures you receive the same security protections as you would when you're on campus, as well as the latest patches and updates. Learn more about the benefits of VPN, and if you haven't connected yet, learn how to get started

Use Strong Passwords

Working from home means it's especially important that your home Wi-Fi network is safe and secure. Hackers can use unsecured networks to gain access to your computers and smart devices, or to simply steal your Wi-Fi which can slow down your connection. A stronger password means a more secure network. Follow these simple steps to secure your home Wi-Fi network.  

Know Your Data

As you've adjusted to remote work, it's likely you've learned how to use several new tools to help you collaborate and share files with your colleagues. Not every tool is right for sharing every kind of information that we work with, so follow these three easy steps below to effectively classify, handle, and dispose of different types of data:

1. Check the Data Classification Guide for the security level of your data

2. Use the Collaboration Tools Matrix to pick the right tool for sharing your data

3. Minimize unneeded copies through regular clean-up and secure deletion.

Summer Security Cookbook

While this summer may be unusual, to say the least, we hope you've still been able to relax, enjoy the sunshine, and spend time with your family. If you're planning a cookout, we've collected some tried-and-tested recipes with a security theme. Enjoy!