Compared to data saved on paper, data that is compiled, distributed and saved electronically requires a different set of risk-minimizing practices.
Below are the stepping stones to compliance in protecting electronic files:
- Set your computer to update automatically.
- See that your computer’s firewall is always on. Contact the OIT Help Desk if your machine’s firewall is not working properly.
- Maintain an appropriate anti-virus program on your computer. Visit https://docs.rice.edu/confluence/x/uQrVAQ for Rice standard virus protection software and recommendations.
- Use strong passwords. A strong password includes both upper and lower case letters, 8 or more characters and a mix of letters, numbers and punctuation characters.
- Protect data in transit. Confidential and/or sensitive files sent via email must be encrypted. Files sent via a mobile device also require that the device be fully encrypted as well.
- Enable Encryption on your devices. Desktop workstations should be in secure environments and not accessible to the general public. Laptops and mobile devices should never be left unattended and special care must be taken in order to prevent theft while traveling.
- Securely destroy or completely remove all data from hard disks of computers that your department removes from service and tags for sale or recycling. Contact the OIT Help Desk for assistance.
- Workstations should be backed up on a regular basis. Backups should be tested for integrity periodically.
- Know where the confidential/sensitive data is located in your machine. Take a regular inventory of your data.