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Four steps to staying secure online

Monday, October 2, 2017
courtesy of  

At Ohio University, cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility. The steps we take to secure our own data are the same steps we should take to secure the university's data. This article is part of a series of cybersecurity stories that focus on the ways we all can make a difference.

Security is our shared responsibility (logo)

As technology gains a more important role in our lives, it also grows in complexity. Given how quickly technology changes, keeping up with security advice can be confusing. It seems like there is always new guidance on what you should or should not be doing. However, while the details of how to say secure may change over time, there are fundamental things you can always do to protect yourself. Regardless of what technology you are using or where you are using it, we recommend the following four steps:

Secure yourself

Attackers have learned that the easiest way to bypass even the most advanced security technology is by attacking you. Be suspicious. By using common sense, you can spot and stop most attacks.

Strong, unique passwords

A strong password cannot be easily guessed by hackers or by their automated programs. Tired of complex passwords that are hard to remember and difficult to type? Try a passphrase instead. Instead of a singe word, use a series of words that is easy to remember, like "Where is my coffee?" A unique password means using a different password for each account. 


Make sure your computers, mobile devices, apps, and anything else connected to the internet are running the latest software versions.


No matter how careful you are, you may be hacked. If that is the case, often your only option to ensure your computer or mobile device is free of malware is to fully wipe it and rebuild it from scratch. Make sure you are doign regular backups of any important information and verify that you can restore from them.

Want to learn more?

Check out Four Steps to Staying Secure from the SANS Institute.

Related Links

Four Steps to Staying Secure (PDF, full version) 
OIT Security
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month