Cyber users: Take responsibility, be secure

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Technology brings a lot of benefits, but if users don’t follow good security practices their computers can become infected with viruses or spam, Usha Venkat, director of information and communication technologies, said.

“It is very important that every person takes that as their own responsibility to maintain their computer,” Venkat said.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The office of technology services and computer information systems program will sponsor security awareness events on campus this week.

Events include speeches by guest lecturers Carlos Cardenas, associate director of the Institute for Cyber Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio; Michele Ayers, manager of educational services at Copyright Clearance Center; and Arne Saustrup, senior manager of network and operations for Alamo Colleges.

Students from the information technology and security academy of this college will participate in a panel on cyber security information 11 a.m.-noon Thursday in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center.

Students are invited to participate in the information security awareness poster design contest.

Computer viruses are the most common information technology security issue for which students and faculty ask OTS for help.

Free solutions abound to keep Windows updated and to install anti-virus programs, Venkat said.

Physical security of computers and devices is also an issue.  These devices not only hold personal information, but also sensitive data that may relate to their workplace or school.

For better computer and data security, the OTS recommends:

• Never share your user password with others.

• This college or other entities will never request a username, password or other personal information by email. Do not respond to such requests.

• Secure computer equipment, including laptops, media tablets and smart phones, in a safe environment.

• Use a secure network connection wherever possible when accessing data.

For more information and event details, visit


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