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UAB Laptop Encryption
Posted by Lacinda A Riesland on 28 November 2011 12:00 PM

ALL UAB-owned laptops need to be encrypted with PGP Whole Disk Encryption, even if they will not be used for activities involving PHI. Licenses for PGP have been purchased by the University and are free to the department. Macintosh laptops must have an open firmware password and be encrypted with PGP or Filevault 2 (OSX Lion only).

Whole disk encryption is also required for desktop computers that contain PHI (Protected Health Information) and reside in high traffic areas. Additionally, any computer containing PHI or other confidential data should be encrypted with PGP. When at all possible, PHI should reside on the file server and not on the local computer drive.

Because a lost encryption password will cause your data to be irretrievable, the process of encrypting your hard drive should always involve your IT support staff. (Your IT staff will be able to proxy a "master" key to gain access to your computer in the event that you forget, or are unable, to provide the password).

Your personally-owned laptop should also be encrypted if used for UAB Business, using PGP Desktop (Windows, licenses provided by UAB) or Filevault 2 (OSX Lion, free).

For more information, Department of Medicine & Department of Psychiatry users should contact us at 5-4357 or submit a support request ticket at Other UAB users should contact their own IT group.

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Home use AV software
Posted by Jack Rawls on 11 November 2011 01:24 PM
There is no need to pay for an antivirus subcription! There are several free anti-virus software packages that are quite good and are used by your IT staff on their home computers. These include:
Make sure you fully uninstall any current antivirus (such as Norton or McAfee) before installing your free antivirus program. Do not install any antivirus programs that are not on this list without talking to one of the IT folks first - we want to make sure you are protected, not infected.

Some software installations have different downloads for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows. To find out which you are using, right-click on "Computer" and then click "Properties". You should see a designation for 32-bit operating system or 64-bit operating system. (But don't worry - even if you download the wrong software package it won't install unless it is compatible). 

And always remember to keep your operating system & software up to date.

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Be On Alert for Malware!
Posted by Lacinda A Riesland on 04 November 2011 06:34 PM
Keep Anti-Virus Installed & Up To Date - UAB provides Anti-virus software for your office and home computers. No matter what a popup has claimed to find, DO NOT allow any unsolicited application to "fix" a virus problem on your computer.

Check the link - Only click on links that point to legitimate web sites you recognize! Many malware emails and websites have links that look valid, but send you to fraudulent sites instead. If you hover your mouse over a link, it will show you where the link is pointing to. Please check all links before clicking on them! Try it with the following link- which looks like it is pointing to but actually points to Protect your information - NEVER give out your password, social security number, credit card number, bank account information via email! Legitimate sites will NEVER email you asking for this information.

Just Say No to Free Software - While there are some great free programs out there, many freeware programs (toolbars, screensavers, music-sharing programs, etc) can also install other programs without your knowledge.

Practice safe browsing - There are hundreds of thousands of websites that contain malware, and often you don't need to do anything over than visit the website to infect your computer. Only visit websites that are trustworthy and reputable.

Be Cautious when opening links, email attachments, and other downloadable files
* If you are unsure about a website or email, seek help from your IT group first
* Never click on a link with a .exe ending
* Never open an attachment from someone you do not know
* Don't click on any links within pop-up windows
* Don't click on links in spam or pop-ups that claim to offer anti-spyware software. (These usually install malware- not prevent it!)

Trust your instincts. If you see something that sounds suspicious, it probably is!
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