Computer Security Risks and Mitigations
INFORMATION SECURITY AWARENESS VIDEO AVAILABLE AT ACCOUNTS.STANFORD.EDU
You may have received an email asking you to watch our new information security awareness video. Many people have been surprised to receive the notification, but be assured that it is genuine. The video isn't long, and there's a generous grace period in which you can watch it. After the grace period expires, access to Stanford Webauth sites will be blocked until you watch the video. So don't wait too long!
If you've just watched the video, you can find follow-up information on the welcome page.
Hackers scan computers accessible to the Internet approximately one million times/day in order to break into them. As an open research and education organization connected to the Internet, Stanford's network is accessible to almost anyone, including hackers.
If your computer is not properly secured or has weak passwords, hackers can:
- Delete, change, and/or steal your data
- Install spyware to monitor your keypresses, emails, IMs, or anything else (sometimes even microphone and camera)
- Use your computer as part of a 'botnet' to recruit other hacked computers and perform mischief like sending spam or attacking other computers (making you look like the attacker)
- Steal enough information to impersonate you for fun or profit (i.e., identity theft)
The front line defenses include:
- Strong passwords
- Proper security configuration(s) on your computer
- All security updates for your computer
The steps below will help you have a safe and happy computing experience at Stanford.