6. Make sure any external browser plugins you use are both
truly needed and kept up-to-date. If you don't regularly use a
plugin, set it to “Ask to Activate” or just disable it, or even uninstall
it, altogether. Problematic plug-ins include packages like Java,
Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Acrobat Reader (or other external PDF
viewer), and Microsoft's Silverlight, among others.
7. When browsing email messages, instant messages, or
other social-media postings, always apply common sense.
If something seems odd (a “bank” has sent this message to me
from an @gmail.com address) or too good to be true (is someone
really wanting to send me $25 million?), it is
almost certainly an attempt to trick you.
Ignore the message, delete it, and move on.
This can also apply where someone you know
sends you an unexpected link or attachment.
Be cautious. Has this individual really sent this
message or attachment to you, or has their
email account been compromised by a
scammer? Can you check with them via some other method of
communication? Certainly, any message that asks you to "reply
instantly, otherwise your account will be deleted," or requests your
The security of your online information and accounts starts with
username or password, is certainly a scam! Malware is usually
you. Here are some best practices for avoiding identity theft or
installed by opening attachments or links… so use your brain
before clicking on links or attachments. CCIT will never ask for
1. Never share your passwords with anyone: whether your
parents, girlfriend, boyfriend, BFF, soul-mate-for-life, random
8. Be careful what you share via social media. Only post
person who is totally fun to hang out with, Mines faculty or staff…
items that you truly would not mind sharing with anyone and
anybody. Passwords are your keys into Mines' systems where your
everyone in the world. For more private exchanges, ensure your
identity resides (think: “Who am I at Mines?”). This includes
privacy settings are configured correctly. If that post you just
essential personal information, your classes, your grades, your
made ends up in front of your parents, (soon-to-be former) friend,
extracurricular activities, your GPA, your health records, and more.
or future employer, is that okay? Items posted for everyone to see
Keep it private. Do NOT use your Mines password for other
means that you could be sharing with
services. CCIT will never ask you for your password.
identity thieves, who are extremely good at
using and linking together all the information
related to you. Identity theft is not
2. Do not download or upload copyrighted files that have
something you want to deal with.
not been legally purchased or licensed.
This includes (among other things) BitTorrent-
sourced music, movies, TV shows, software,
9. Be careful when using shared data-sources, like physical
and ebooks. Such behavior always comes to
USB sticks, portable hard drives, and other storage devices,
the attention of Student Life in honoring the
including cloud storage. Always have your security software
national Digital Millennium Copyright Act
running to be able to scan, and perhaps block, access to
(DMCA) laws. Packaging malware as other
kinds of content is a common way for
criminals to take over your machine -- you can sometimes be
grabbing more than just an illegal copy of Game of Thrones!
10. Don't install random software on any of your computing
devices. Only use known software that is from a known reputable
source – otherwise, who knows what extra “goodies” you've just
3. Always run security software on your machines to offer
greater protections. Here at Mines we have Symantec Endpoint
Protection software available for all students, faculty, and staff at
no charge to you. Visit ccit.mines.edu/CCIT-Antivirus for more
For more about cyber-security and how to keep yourself
safe, visit us at ccit.mines.edu/CCIT-Security.
4. Keep your machines up-to-date by ensuring that you have
auto-updates enabled where possible. This does a good job in
keeping your base operating system updated, along with your
preferred web-browsers and any extensions you might use. Other
packages – like iTunes, Microsoft Office, Adobe applications, and
so on – have similar auto-update
mechanisms. All should be enabled
5. Remember that large portions of the web attempt to
track your online behavior and where you visit. For better
online privacy, recommended browsing extensions (available for
the major web-browsers) include: Disconnect, Privacy Badger, and
HTTPS Anywhere. These extensions keep tracking companies from
piecing together your online activities.