Click on the titles below to find out about the best practices for each virtual medium.
Peer to Peer (P2P) Groups
Be careful about what you download. “Free” downloads can have costly consequences since attackers often include malware, such as spyware or viruses, in downloadable files. Scan any downloaded file with updated anti-virus software before opening it.
P2P File Sharing
Disable uploading in your file sharing program. Limit downloading activity to public domain music, programs, and movies. Beware that some sites advertise their content as public domain, but may actually be infringing copyright themselves. For information on the duration of copyright terms and when copyrighted material becomes public domain content, see Cornell’s information page Copyright and Public Domain.
Take steps to secure your workstation. P2P applications can give other access to personal information on your computer. Password protect all shared files. Employ strong passwords for all accounts and lock your computer when not in use. Run regular (automatic is preferred) updates of your antivirus software and regularly scan your computer for any viruses/malware. Install and turn on a personal firewall program. Don’t open any ports for an application unless you are certain it is safe. Opening ports may give attackers access to your computer or allow them to attack your computer by exploiting any vulnerabilities that may exist in the P2P application.
Social Media Groups
Below are some helpful ideas while using Social Media sites. Please note that as NCSU personnel, you must still abide by NCSU policies and guidelines
- Create a plan.
- Identify your target audience
- Identify what you intend to share
- Identify what result you are looking for
- Set goals. Your goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely (SMART).
- Make time. You should have the dedicated time and resources to maintain new content on a regular basis as new content is critical to thrive in social media communities.
- Conduct research. Before starting a social media campaign, research other organizations on social media networks for ideas on what works and what doesn’t.
- Get involved. Listen to conversations, engage with comments, answer questions, and keep your account fresh with regular posts.
- Measure success. Determine what success means for your purpose and goals.
- Create a plan.
A Few Things to Consider
- Be authentic. Social media is all about people connecting with people. Remember to humanize your social media interactions.
- Be accurate. Make sure you have all of the facts before you post. Cite and link to sources whenever possible. Spell-check your content before posting. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly.
- Be respectful. Feel free to respectfully disagree with a position, but don’t resort to hurling insults or propagating online confrontation.
- Be positive. A good rule of thumb: if you would not say it in person, don’t say it online.
- Encourage open conversation. Listen to people and respond to as many comments as possible with constructive feedback. Allow negative comments, delete the spam, and seek to respond rather than censor.
- Allow comments. A good philosophy for comments is to encourage thoughtful discussion, debate and differing viewpoints, with the understanding that they must be civil and respectful. NCSU employees who serve as account administrators reserve the right to delete comments that are: lewd, libelous, incite violence or that are hurtful/hateful speech directed at individuals or groups.
- Obey the law. Do not post content that violates any state or federal laws. Obtain permission to use or reproduce copyrighted content.
- Adhere to NCSU compliance requirements and policies. These include, but are not limited to, HIPAA, GLBBA, FERPA and employee conduct.
What are the implications of posting copyrighted material on Social Media site?
When you post copyrighted materials on social media websites, they automatically obtain a license to use those materials, commonly known as an Intellectual Property or “IP” license. They can use this IP license to share the materials all over the world without your further permission or paying any royalties. This could mean that the social media website effectively owns a license to use the materials you posted, for whatever purpose it desires, forever.
Web Browser Groups
Safe Surfing – Tips for Secure Internet Browsing
The Web is full of malicious programs and software that can wreak havoc on your computer’s file systems. Viruses and malware can result in everything from annoying pop-up ads to threats that can wipe out your entire operating system. Internet security threats can be prevented with a few simple safe surfing tips.
Safe Browsing Practices
- Visit only trusted sites with valid security certificates.
- As much as possible, try to avoid pornographic websites. Porn sites on the Internet are hotspots for dangerous malware like pop-up ads and security threats.
- Be very careful when asked to fill out personal information, like credit card account numbers. You may be the next victim of Internet scams and cyber-theft.
- Clear your browser cache every now and then to free up hard drive space.
Be very careful when using download managers. They may make downloading files easier and faster, but they can also download malware in the background.
Safe Browsing on Public or Shared Computers
- Never disclose your password to important or private Internet accounts to anyone.
- Always remember to log out of important accounts like e-mail, forums, or social network sites.
- Be very careful when using removable writable media. Viruses and malware may copy themselves onto the drive and affect other computers you attach the drive to.
More Computer Safety Tips
- If you can afford it, use a reputable anti-virus software package.
- If you cannot afford proprietary anti-virus software packages, some freeware packages work quite well.
- Do not open an e-mail attachment if you are not absolutely sure what it contains.
- Run a full system scan and full disk defragmentation every month
Cloud Storage Groups
Guidelines to using Cloud Storage services on North Carolina State University machines are listed below.
1. Users should limit file sharing to small groups.
2. Users should be careful where they share information especially when Public folders are involved.
3. Users should encrypt any files they store (it is not recommended to use Cloud Storage for confidential or sensitive information).
4. Users should ensure that their passwords are strong and changed at reasonable intervals.
5. Users should not leave files on Cloud Storage services longer than necessary.
6. Users should not put anything on Cloud Storage that they would be uncomfortable with showing up on the front page of the newspaper.
7. Users should not use Cloud Storage services as the sole storage for any files.
8. Users should not use Cloud Storage services on mobile devices connected via unencrypted WiFi networks.
Tips to determine if Cloud Storage is right for you.
1. Consider the costs. Is the monthly/annual charge worth it? Will this allow you to save money elsewhere?
2. Consider the security risks. What happens if your online data is compromised? What happens if you do not have online storage and your data is lost/compromised?
3. Consider the Recovery Time Objective. How soon can your department be up and running again if there is a disaster?
4. Consider the ease of use. Is there a learning curve for you and your department?
5. Consider the capacity and storage time. How much can you store and for how long?
6. Consider upload speeds and transfer time. How much and how fast can you upload data?