Security tips to keep your personal devices safe

Sam Foster
Friday 12 February 2021

Owning a personal device, such as a computer or mobile phone, comes with the responsibility of maintaining the device to help keep you safe and secure. Below, you will find a handful of helpful hints and tips on how to do so.

1. Choose a strong password 
The password you choose for your device should be unique to you and follow password best-practices. Our current guidance is to have at least 10 characters with a mixture of upper and lower case, numbers and symbols.

Here is a simple technique to help you create a good password
1. Choose three random words and a date that’s easy to recall. “bookspecslight2001”
2. Add numbers and capitalise a letter from each word. “20booKspecSlighT01
3. Replace some letters with a special character. “20b00kspecSl&ghT01”

A strong password helps to protect you in the event your device is ever lost or stolen.

2. Keep your device up to date 
Although updating your device can be inconvenient, it serves an essential purpose in keeping your device secure as many updates include critical security fixes. Updates also add or enhance features which are available to you and fix bugs which may reduce the risk of your device crashing while you work on your important tasks.

Updates may also be available for software installed on device too.

Top tip
Remember, all of your devices need to be updated, including your mobile phone.

3. Install anti-virus
By installing anti-virus, you’re helping to protect yourself against known malware. After installing the software, it will work away in the background without any input from you. It’s worth making sure it’s up to date periodically!

Top tip
Staff and students can download free anti-virus for their personal devices through Apps Anywhere.

4. Back-up your device 
Data back-ups are an essential tool in protecting your important documents in the event of a system crash or failure. There are various options available, such as external hard drives, cloud storage, or your University home drive.

Top tip
The University provides further guidance on where you can store different information types.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at [email protected].

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