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Office of Information Security

Protect Your Data

UGA has adopted an information security program to safeguard private information and data and to comply with laws and regulations. While this program protects data in UGA systems, there are steps that students and users should take the protect their own data while at UGA. Below are recommended actions you can take to protect your own personal data on the UGA Network.

PAWS Secure Wireless Network

When you connect to the PAWS wireless network, you will have the option to select either PAWS-Secure (on the Health Services Campus look for MedPAWS-Secure) or Welcome_to_UGA. Both PAWS-Secure and Welcome_to_UGA are also available at UGA's extended campuses in Griffin, Buckhead and Gwinnett.

PAWS-Secure is a protected network, available for use by anyone who has a valid UGA MyID. Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to choose PAWS-Secure whenever the option to do so is available, and especially when transmitting private data or connecting to a service which requires a user name and password.

Welcome_to_UGA is designed for use by campus visitors. If you don't have a valid UGA MyID you can still connect to the wireless network. You will need to contact the EITS Help Desk to get a temporary guest account and password.

Use SendFiles to Encrypt File Transfers

SendFiles allows you to easily send and receive files in a secure fashion.

On Public Computers, Lab Computers, and Kiosks

  • Delete your browsing history when finished online.
  • Do not save passwords on a public computer.
  • Avoid online banking, shopping, entering credit card information, etc. on public computers.
  • Avoid using email and other services that require a user name and password while on pubic computers.
  • Delete temporary files.
  • Log off the machine when you are done.

On Your Personal Devices

So much of your personal information is on your computer that the responsibility for keeping it safe is yours as well.

  • Secure your computer using a few easy steps found in our Protect Your Computer guide.
  • Secure Your Browser - adjust security settings on your devices to keep intruders out
  • Use encryption to protect any private data you must retain.
  • Lock your devices when they are idle or not in use, preventing any accidental or intentional accessing/deleting your private files.
  • Never leave computers or mobile devices unattended in public spaces or your car.
  • Lock your door when you are not in your room in the resident halls.
  • Make backups of your data and store those backups either in the cloud or locally on USB drives or external hard drives. Be sure to encrypt any files that you consider confidential.

In the Cloud

Everyone with a UGA Mail account has access to 1TB of storage on OneDrive for Business. OneDrive for Business is a service provided by Microsoft for online file storage and sharing, as well as the creation of Office documents online. Full details on OneDrive for Business are available on the EITS wiki.

There are also many popular third party storage solutions such as DropBox and Google Drive available online.  Anytime you use a third party service for cloud storage, your data is subject to that service's privacy agreement. Please use your best judgement when uploading files to cloud services.

Regardless of the cloud solution you may use, encrypting your files before uploading them will ensure the confidentiality and integrity of your data.

On USB Drives and External Hard Drives

  • Just pulling the USB out can potentially damage both your storage device and your data. Take time to eject your storage device correctly. Use the Safely Remove Hardware option to keep your data safe.
  • Removing your storage device while files are still writing to it can result in data corruption. Always be sure that files have finished writing before removing your storage device.
  • Be careful who you share your USB drives with. USB drives can become infected with computer viruses and malicious software if they are plugged into an infected machine.
  • Remove your storage device when it is not in use. Leaving it attached to your computer makes your backup data vulnerable any problems your computer might encounter--e.g. power surges, viruses, etc.
  • USB sticks are small and easy to misplace or lose. You should have a secondary backup for your data just in case your USB stick fails or is lost.
  • Encrypt any files that you consider confidential in case your storage device is ever lost or misplaced.

On Paper

Remember to protect any hard copies of your private data too.

  • Keep bills and other documents that contain confidential information in a secure location.
  • Shred documents that contain private information when you no longer need them.