Information Security

How To Keep Your Computer Secure:

Make sure you have up-to-date and running antivirus software.

Faculty and Staff please contact Helpdesk at for assistance or questions about antivirus software.

Make sure that your operating system and applications are current and patched.

Unpatched operating systems and applications are a major cause of electronic data theft and other security incidents.

College computers should already be configured to receive updates. Please check occasionally just to be sure by the appropriate method. It is vital to also check your home machine if you own one.

Use a strong password and protect it.

The College requires the use of strong passwords. Your password must contain 8-12 characters, contain a letter, contain a digit, and contain a special character (~ ^* _ + ? - . ). But even the strongest password is only good as long as you do not share it with others. No department or office at the College of Charleston will ever request your username and or password by e-mail. You will only be asked to use your login credentials to access sites that end with or in the URL.

Keep separate backups of your data.

For personal documents there are several options:  the easiest options are to write the data to a CD/DVD or create a gmail account and email yourself your data. It is important to do this regularly and not "put it off until tomorrow." Security incidents and hardware failure can happen at any time.

For College-related data, make sure it is stored on a server that is regularly backed up (such as fs1 or fs2). Never store information such as Social Security Numbers or other sensitive information on desktops, CDs, portable drives, email accounts, or websites.