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To all Dowling Faculty, Staff and Administrators:

It's time for our twice-yearly review of good security practices for information technology resources at Dowling.

The use of Dowling's technology resources is, as you might expect, a privilege that comes with some responsibilities. Access to the data resources at Dowling is granted to you, individually: you are not permitted to give this access to others. YOU are responsible for any activity that occurs in your account, and YOU are responsible for safeguarding the data with which you are entrusted.

Some particulars:

  1. Keep your mission-critical files on the network. Use the link to J: (your home drive) that we place on your desktop. The Help Desk at x3445 can help you setup Microsoft applications to save files to J: by default. J: is located on a server that is backed up nightly, so files that you save there are very safe, as long as they have been stored overnight. On the other hand, if your C: drive crashes, its entire contents are likely to be lost. DO NOT RELY ON FLOPPY DISKS for backups - they are obsolete and completely unreliable.

  2. Use Dowling email to communicate with students, staff, and faculty about Dowling issues. Confidential and sensitive information is password-protected, encrypted, backed-up and relatively secure inside the Dowling email system. Outside, traversing public networks, it's subject to spam filtering, interception by unknown third-parties, and other uncertainties. Counsel students that Dowling offices will ONLY send to Dowling addresses. Set a good example by following that rule yourself.

  3. Lock your PC by pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL then W when you walk away from it. When you return, use your network password to regain access. This secures your PC from casual eavesdropping in your absence.

  4. Shut down your PC at night. A PC that's powered off cannot be attacked. If there is a good reason you don't want to power off, lock your PC as above, and unlock and reboot when you arrive in the morning. We distribute many security updates at login, so it's very important that you boot your PC at least once on days when you use it.

  5. Guard your passwords carefully, and change them if you think they've "gotten out." It's good practice to change them every several months. Some of our systems REQUIRE that you change your password every so often. Please do!

  6. Do not share your password with other Dowling employees, students, or family members. There are other ways of exchanging data:

    • Drop files into your K: drive, which is shared with the rest of your department, or into the Exchange directory, which is shared with everyone at the College. (Note: do not put confidential info in Exchange - use another method.)

    • Ask Administrative I.S. to setup a shared directory for specific people, especially if sharing with these people is frequent.

    • If you need advice on secure methods of sharing data, please call the Help Desk at x3445 - we'll be happy to help you.

  7. Undergraduate students are NEVER permitted direct access to Banner. Graduate students are permitted limited access under carefully controlled circumstances. If you are concerned about the security of certain tasks that your department needs to perform in Banner, we urge you to consult with the Help Desk staff at x3445 or with the Banner team at x5033. (We're talking about Banner, not the Student Records System.)

  8. Dowling technology resources are to be used for Dowling business, according to the Acceptable Use Policy (which you agree to follow when you access Dowling information resources). The line between business and recreation is not usually clear, so some judgment is required. Some examples of activities that violate this policy:

    • Web surfing at certain sites. You can cause your PC to become infected with spyware and viruses, thereby risking exposure of all your files.
    • Using your Dowling email for Internet purchases. Many sites sell the email addresses they collect, so your email box will become cluttered with spam. Use a Hotmail, Netscape, Yahoo or other free account for such things.

    Occasional non-business use of Dowling I.T. resources will not cause a fuss - just don't make it your primary occupation!

Please visit http://www.dowling.edu/mydowling/tech/best-practices.html for more information. We appreciate your cooperation in keeping Dowling's information resources safe and secure.

Dowling College, Oakdale, NY

Technology @ Dowling:  http://www.dowling.edu/mydowling/tech

Random quote of the moment:
We are each entitled to our own opinion, but no one is entitled to his own facts. - Patrick Moynihan