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Computing and Information Services

About CIS and IT security

CIS undertake a number of activities to protect your security whilst you're using IT at the University: we provide firewalls to protect our networks, our authentication processes (where you supply your CIS username and password) police access to certain services and facilities, we provide anti-malware packages on all University provided PCs and laptops and we scan emails at the point of entry to remove or flag up any potentially dangerous attachments and links.

However, it is not just down to CIS: we all have a responsibility to take appropriate steps to protect ourselves and the IT facilities we use.

We do understand that IT security can sometimes seem quite daunting and at times confusing, so here you will find some simple guides offering an overview of key areas relating to IT security, each with some 'best practice' advice you can take straight-away to help you to help yourself. You'll find this advice in our snappily titled 'How to help yourself' section in each area!

As there are a number of services and options out there, we do focus on advice which is relevant to University IT but you will find that much of it is also applicable when you are using your own PC, laptop or other mobile devices at home.

What you will find here

In these pages you will find information on the following broad topic areas:

  • Keeping your personal details safe (passwords, spam, hoax and phishing emails)
  • Keeping your machine safe (locking it, firewalls, antivirus & antispyware)
  • Keeping your mobile devices safe and guidance on using public wireless networks
  • Useful links to government, banking and security specialists where you'll find the latest news and developments

This is a work in progress so in the very near future we'll be adding information on:

  • Safe web usage (including social networking sites)
  • Respecting other people's property
  • What to do if it goes wrong

As we improve and formalise University policies on areas specific to our IT we'll publish them here. so please check back from time to time to find out what has developed.

Criminals and fraudsters who ply their trade in the online environment operate are like businesses in that they have their own teams of developers working hard to stay one step ahead of the game. Whilst the information here will be updated as appropriate, it cannot be exhaustive and so we have also included links to government and specialist sites whose business it is to keep up with these criminals and who will have the latest advice.

Throughout these pages we've included links to external sites which we think may be useful if you're looking for more information and these will take you out of the Durham University web site.  These links are given in good faith however we cannot be held responsible for the content of external web sites.

Your obligations

As a member of the University you have a number of obligations specifically designed to protect your online security and these are contained within the University IT Regulations. By using our facilities you are agreeing to abide by them so you should have read them. You can find them in full in our Policy and Regulations section and you should take time to read them if you have not done so already.