Be Safe

Here's how to protect your digital identity and your computer from threats such as viruses, spyware, and phishing scams.

Page Back Up Your Files
Don't wait until you lose hours or even years of work in a single moment. Back up your files.
Page Change Your Password
Penn State requires all Penn State Access Account owners to change their passwords annually, to increase the personal security of the community and help protect business, research and academic resources throughout the University.
Page Firewall Basics
Firewalls can help protect computers by blocking potentially hostile connection attempts.
Page Malware
Malware, or malicious software, is hostile, intrusive, or annoying code that includes viruses, spyware, adware, worms, trojan horses, and other unwanted programs.
Page Phishing Tips
The goal of a phishing scam is to steal your valuable personal data, such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data, and other information. If you think you've received a phishing e-mail message, do not respond to it.
Page Port Blocking
Because of the increasing level of hostile activity and security threats directed toward Penn State's computing resources, ITS blocks selected TCP/UDP ports from the campus border to the Internet.
Link Precautions for computer repair or disposal
If your computer contains confidential information such as passwords, financial, health, or other private information, here is how you can make sure it's safe for disposal or repair.
Link Report a Security Incident
Instructions on how to report a security incident to Security Operations and Services (SOS).
Link Secure Certificates
A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is code on your Web server that provides security by enabling an encrypted connection. Through its group purchase program, Penn State's Computer Store offers SSL certificates for departments at a low cost.
Page Secure Passwords
Your Penn State Access Account password is the key to many electronic services within the Penn State community. Guard your password just as you guard your bank card PIN. Don't write it down or make it easy for someone to crack. Never share your password with others.
Link Security Awareness Video Series
The videos have been designed to provide quick, effective awareness messages about a variety of information security-focused topics.
Page Security Updates
Keeping your operating system up to date is critical. You can configure your computer to automatically seek out updates for hassle-free security.
Page Social Networking
Social networking Web sites such as Facebook and Tumblr make it easy to meet people on a personal or professional level. By providing personal information using blogs, chat, e-mail, or instant messaging, you can meet new friends and communicate with others who share your interests. However, digital relationships can be deceptive.
Link Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN uses encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users access the network and that data is secure.
Link WebAccess
Penn State's Single Sign-On solution for Web-based services that require authentication with a Penn State Access Account user ID and password. General information and instructions for developers are provided.