Don’t be the victim of identity theft – protect your information with these tips from the Department of Public Safety and U-M Information and Technology Services
GENERAL COMPUTER USE
- Protect your computer with up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software. University students, faculty, and staff can download VirusScan (for Windows) and Sophos (for Macs) at no cost.
- Use passwords wisely.
- Never use your UMICH Kerberos password for non-University accounts.
- Use a different, robust password for each online account.
- Never share your password with others.
- Never use the “Remember my Password” function on any website that contains personal or financial information.
- Use a password or PIN to lock portable devices.
- Lock your screen or log out before you walk away from any publicly-accessible computer.
- Always use a secure (password-enabled) WiFi connection. While on campus, use MWireless.
- Be wary of peer-to-peer file sharing, which can open your computer to infection.
PROTECTING YOUR CREDIT
- Consider using one credit card exclusively for shopping online. That way you can monitor all online purchases on one statement, and keep another card for face-to-face transactions.
- Before placing an order online, look for a closed “lock” icon on the bottom of the page and make sure the address begins with “https”. This signifies that encryption software is being used to create a secure transaction.
- Storing your credit card information on a shopping or service website may seem convenient, but it puts your credit at risk. Even highly respected online vendors have had their security broken.
- Monitor your credit. Order a free credit report and be aware of imposter credit report websites.
- Cross-shred confidential documents and destroy electronic media and inactive credit cards that contain confidential information when they are no longer needed.
SMART E-MAIL TIPS
- Unsolicited e-mail and attachments can wreck havoc on your computer. A message may look like it’s from a trusted source, but it’s possible for an unscrupulous person to pretend to be someone else. If you’re not expecting an attachment, don’t open it or even reply to it!
- Beware of “phishing” scams – never respond to an e-mail request for private personal information; no legitimate company will request information in this way.
- If you receive a threatening e-mail, call the Department of Public Safety at (734) 763-1311 immediately.