Securing your CalArts and personal email accounts is hugely important for keeping your personal data safe. This article is a good starting point to understanding the various ways you can ensure your personal information is as safe as it can be.
Set up 2-Factor Authentication
Enabling 2-Factor Authentication on your email accounts is one of the best ways of securing your email account. 2-Factor Authentication (also called 2-Step Verification) requires not only a username and password, but also a second authentication method, which can easily be an app on your phone. We use two factor authentication with everything from email to our remote support tools!
Use a Secure Password
When you're creating any password the rule of thumb is to have a combination of capital letters, numbers, and symbols while avoiding any dictionary words. If you include a mixture of those characters within your password it will be significantly harder to crack for any unwelcome guests.
Password complexity and length work hand-in-hand, however. A 12 character complex password is exponentially harder to crack than an 8 character complex password!
Monitor "Last Account Activity"
Gmail has an excellent tool to monitor your account activity. This will tell you which devices (and their approximate geolocation) last accessed your account.
Near the bottom right of your Inbox in Gmail is your Last Account Activity and a Details link. This will bring up a window that shows the last connections to your account. It's a good idea to regularly check this list to verify that no other logins other than your own are showing up on here.
If you do notice any questionable logins showing up on this page there is a Sign out all other web sessions button you can use to forcibly disconnect any other browsers from your account. You would then change your password immediately to prevent them from gaining access again.
Never Email Sensitive Files as Attachments
It's not really a good idea to directly email unencrypted files as an attachment. As soon as a file leaves your computer as an attachment you no longer have any control over what happens to it.
Instead, you should use Google Drive to upload the files then share them as an attachment. This is a more secure method for sharing files and you can control whether the recipients can able to make changes or simply view the document.
Alternatively, if the they don't have a Google account you can set the document's visibility to Anyone with the link and send them a direct link to download the attachment. This is less secure option since the person would be able to forward this link on to anyone else but you will still retain the control of the files uploaded to Google Drive.
Don't be afraid to ask questions
Not everybody is a computer expert, and we don't expect you to be. That's what we're here for. If you ever have a question or find yourself embarrassed to even ask, give us a ring, a tweet, or open a ticket!
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