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Security and You

Information Security at UVA


Good passwords are extremely important to prevent unauthorized access to your accounts. Your password is the key to your account, and anyone who knows it has complete access to all of your files.
It is very important to choose a password that is difficult to guess and to keep this password a secret. Never write down or share your password with others. 
Click here for information and tips on how to choose more secure passwords.
Virus Protection
Many virus outbreaks are spread by users opening email attachments. Please remember to open only attachments that are from a trusted sender and that you are expecting. Examples of suspicious emails can be found here
It is recommended that you perform a full system scan on your computer at least once a month. If you suspect that your computer has become infected with a computer virus, contact the Help Desk immediately so that we can follow the IT Security Incident Reporting policy.
Data Backup and Recovery
Please remember that many hard drives will eventually fail. If you are storing data on your hard drive, we recommend that you back up that data at least once a week. If you need instruction, please contact your advocate or the McIntire Help Desk.
Application Software
When placing any order via the Internet, please make sure that you are using a secure Web site. To determine if a Web site is secure, make sure that a lock icon appears in the window's title bar and that the Web site's address begins with "https" (instead of "http").
VPN Access
VPN connections should be disconnected when not in use or when you are away from your desk.
Confidentiality of Sensitive Data
The risk of unauthorized disclosure of highly sensitive data is very high when such data are stored on individual-use electronic devices and media, because these items are easily stolen. Highly sensitive data include personal information that can lead to identity theft if exposed (e.g., Social Security numbers, passport numbers, driver's license numbers, financial account numbers) and health information that reveals an individual’s health condition and/or history of health services use (e.g., HIPAA-protected information). The University, therefore, strictly limits the circumstances under which highly sensitive data may be stored on these devices and media. It further mandates that strict security requirements be met when highly sensitive data must unavoidably be stored on individual-use electronic devices or electronic media. Unencrypted transmission of highly sensitive data through e-mail is prohibited. It is the responsibility of individuals to determine if they have highly sensitive data on their device(s) and media and, if so, to ensure compliance with this policy. For more information please visit
Security Awareness and Education
An active security awareness program can greatly reduce many risks that cannot be addressed through security software and hardware devices. In these cases, it is the human element of security that must be addressed. Please review the following Web site to learn more about our responsibilities: Responsible Computing at UVA.

Copyright affects faculty, students, and staff at the University of Virginia. Please review the following Web site to learn more about our policies: Respect for Copyrights of Digital Materials and Software.