The ITS Help Desk is committed to helping students, faculty and staff keep safe online. Below you will find useful information about how you can protect your computer and your personal information when going online. For more questions or information email the Help Desk or call 864-503-5257.
VPN access from off campus
To access network drives, Peoplesoft and other secure University resources from off campus, users are required to use Cisco VPN software. For more information, please visit this link.
What is Securing the Human?
Securing the Human is an information security awareness program for all USC employees. The program is composed of a series of short instruction videos designed to educate faculty and staff on the dangers posed to their personal and institutional information online. Training is optional but all full-time employees are encourage to take part.
How do faculty and staff access the training?
- Go to the following link: usc.securingthehuman.org
- You will be prompted to login with your USC network username and password. This is the same as your Blackboard login, not your USC Upstate login. If you do not use Blackboard or have forgotten your password you can reset it by following the instructions here.
- Once you have logged in successfully you will be presented with a selection of training videos to watch.
In an effort to ensure you understand the information you are storing on your University computer and the risks associated with storing that information, ITS provides a tool called Spirion. This will proactively scan your university-issued computer for Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and provide you with the ability to easily and quickly take action to ensure it is protected.
At this point the only PII that is being scanned for is social security numbers, credit card numbers and bank routing information, in accordance with state information security requirements. In the future additional PII matches may be added.
Spirion will automatically scan your computer for files that have social security numbers, credit card information, or other personal data. Once a scan is complete, you will have the opportunity to see a list of files that contain personal data and choose from the following options:
- Shred: this will securely delete the whole file
- Scrub: this will remove only the personal data from the file—it only works for certain file types, such as Microsoft Office documents
- Secure: use a password to prevent anyone else opening the file
What if my computer is lost or stolen?
Please report immediately to the help desk
What do I do if I think I have a virus?
Contact help desk for a virus scan and reimaging if necessary
What should I do if I need to store sensitive information (i.e. social security numbers) on my computer?
If you are required to store sensitive information for your role, then you must have your computer set to lock with a password when you leave it unattended for more than a few minutes. Depending on the level of data you store (see below for data levels and requirements), you may also need to have extra encryption on your computer as well as completing and signing the following form: Link to signature form
The following are some tips to keep your account safe:
- Never respond to individuals asking for your username and password or asking you to verify your account, even if you know the email address.
- Always think twice before clicking on links within your email
- Hover over links to see where they are really directing you to
What should I do if I clicked on a suspicious link?
- Change your password just in case – (follow these directions)
- Watch the videos on the SANS Securing the Human site
- See examples of malicious emails here
What do they use my username and password for?
- Stealing data on your computer
- Spam and to attack other user’s accounts
- Selling your account information
Is my data safe?
Tests, student data and personal information could have been compromised.
**Did we mention the ITS Help Desk will never ask for your password?
If you are suspicious about any email please forward it to the Help Desk so we can take appropriate action.
Think before you click.
There are several online resources for securely storing your password so you don't have to reset them every time you forget one. Two free options can be found below:
- Training Videos
- Email Spam Attacks and Trends
- UTS Information Security site
- IT 3.00 - Information Security Policy
- UNIV 1.5 - Data Access
- IT 1.06 Acceptable Use of IT Policy
- FINA 4.11 - Credit/Debit Card Processing and Security
- Monthly DLP Data Import Process
- Protecting Personal Idenitifying Information Policy
- Storing Pii Data and Requirements