Link: UCOP's e-newsletter

Stay Informed. Stay Connected.

How to secure your devices at home and at work

Securing devices from hackers and other bad actors online is extremely important. Here are some basic tips you can use to stay safe.

  • Secure your home router: By default, most routers do not have a password, or the password is the word “admin.” One of the most important things you can do is to set a password for your router. Change this by logging into your router (use or in your web browser). The procedure will be slightly different for each brand of router.
  • Encrypt your devices: UCOP laptops are encrypted automatically. If you have a personal laptop, you’ll want to follow the instructions for Windows encryption or Mac encryption to encrypt the data in case your laptop is ever lost or stolen.
  • Back up your devices: Always make a backup of your devices so that if they fail, they can be restored. An alternative is to use secure online storage, such as Box, to save all of your work-related files.
  • Set PINs on your smartphones and tablets: Use as long a PIN as possible. A six-digit PIN has one million possible combinations, compared to a four-digit PIN which can only have about 10,000.
  • Keep your computer and devices up to date: When your computer or device informs you that an update is available, install it as soon as you can.
  • Enable automatic locking: Set your device to lock if it is not used for more than a few minutes. If you walk away from your computer at the office, lock it.
  • Don’t reuse passwords: If a hacker breaks into one of your accounts, odds are they will try that same password on other accounts you may have. Use a different password for each account. Use a password manager to help you set up and remember your passwords.

These are just some of the basic things you can do to stay safe online. There are many others, of course.

As Cybersecurity month continues, check out our schedule of events and be sure to register for those you’d like to attend. Also, check out Cyber Security Awareness month web page for more information on how you can be a Cyber Champion!

Join us for upcoming Cyber Security Month Events

Here are events for today through next Tuesday.

UC Fall 2020 Cyber Security Summit (Oct. 14, sessions held all day): The Fall UC Cyber Security Summit will be held online on October 14. We are excited about sharing our collective expertise in order to better safeguard UC’s mission of teaching, research and public service.

FireEye Presents: Election Safety with Jon Ford, Mandiant, Cybersecurity Expert and Professor (Oct. 15, 1 p.m.): Cyber criminals and bad actors can create chaos in state and local voting and election systems. To develop solutions and security programs to counter cyber threats to elections, government agencies have leaned on industry experts with frontline experience to protect our democratic elections.

Darktrace Presents: Securing the New Normal: How Cyber AI Learns on the Job (Oct. 15, 1 p.m.): The future of work remains unpredictable and uncertain. More than ever before, business leaders need to remain confident that their operations can continue securely in the face of global or even regional crises; while sections of the economy are slowly re-opening, cyber-attackers are ramping up their campaigns.

Hacker Stories with Chris Hadnagy (Oct. 16, 1 p.m.): Chris specializes in understanding how malicious attackers exploit human communication and trust to obtain access to information and resources through manipulation and deceit. His goal is to secure companies by educating them on the methods used by attackers, identifying vulnerabilities and mitigating issues through appropriate levels of awareness and security.

Doing Our Part to Stay Cyber-Safe with Joseph Oregon, Cybersecurity Advisor, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security (Oct. 16, 1 p.m.): As we adjust our personal, professional and educational lives around COVID-19, we need to be mindful about the threats that still lurk online. Join our special guest for a knowledgeable discussion on how to stay cyber-safe.

Cyber Escape Room Online (starting Oct. 19 — See event page for link): Can you escape from the Cyber Escape Room online?

What is Hacking, Really? Insights into Breaches and Exploits (Oct. 19, 12 p.m.): “Hackers” have become emblazoned in our society. They dominate news headlines, are featured in prominent Hollywood movies and have become larger than life. Who are these people, what does it mean to “hack” something and what the heck is a binary?

Women in Cybersecurity: A Panel Discussion (Oct. 20, 12 p.m.): This year, the highlight of the NCSAM at UC Merced will be our “Women in Cybersecurity” panel moderated by AVC and CIO, Ann Kovalchick. Panelists will give their unique perspectives on the triumphs and challenges women face in the world of cybersecurity. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A session to answer your questions. Register as soon as possible to attend!

FireEye Presents: Elevate — Cybersecurity & Diversity in the C-Suite and Boardroom (Oct. 20, 1 p.m.): Although diversity in the C-suite and the boardroom is improving, there is more work to be done. Alexa will discuss opportunities that exist for women in cybersecurity, diversity in the boardroom and the importance of mentorship.

Keep alert for more news, events and information for this year’s event and stay safe! Show your support by downloading one of our Zoom backgrounds.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at one or more of our virtual events!

For questions, please contact Thank you to Cecelia Finney for organizing the NCSAM resources listed in the article, in collaboration with the Systemwide Security Awareness workgroup (including members from numerous UC Locations).


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