What should I do to best protect my computer on campus?

  • Use strong passwords on your personal accounts (email, bank, bill pay sites…) as well as FIU accounts, such as MY FIU. For more information on how to choose strong passwords, visit our password best practices by clicking here.
  • Install virus protection. FIU IT Support Center offers free virus protection to students. Remember to download the latest updates, in order for the anti-virus to keep you protected with the latest viruses.
  • Remember to back up your information from time to time. Backing up is crucial in the events of one’s laptop being affected with a virus or being stolen. Keep backups on external sources, such as a usb drive, cd/dvd discs, or a trusted server.
  • Physical security. Keep an eye on your computer to prevent theft! If your computer was stolen, please contact the FIU Police Department to create an investigation report.

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a program that filters incoming/outgoing connections in order to prevent unwanted/untrusted connections from coming in/out from one’s machine.

How can I make sure I have mine enabled and properly configured?

Please select your operating system from the list below in order to see configuration options and instructions.

Why is it important to stay updated?

One must keep their computers updated to prevent any security vulnerabilities to be exploited, as well as to enjoy the latest features that might be released with new patches.

How do I update my machine?

It is crucial to keep your machine up to date. Visit the following links in order to obtain information on how to properly update your machine.

How do I configure Skype when running on the FIU Network?

For systems running the Windows OS:

  • Disable “Start Skype when I start Windows”: Click on Tools – Options – General – General Settings – Uncheck the “Start Skype when I start Windows” option
  • Disable “Allow calls/IMS from anyone”: Click on Tools – Options – Privacy – Privacy Settings – Select “people in my Contact list only” in “Allow calls from…” and “Allow IMs from…”.
  • Ensure that “Only allow people in my Contact list to call me” is selected under Tools – Options – Calls – Call settings (this should be selected OOB).
  • Disable “Use port 80 and 443 as alternatives for incoming connections”: Click on Tools – Options – Advanced – Connection – uncheck “Use port 80 and 443 as alternatives for incoming connections”

For systems running the Macintosh OS:

  • Disable the option to “Remember my name and password on this computer”: Click on Skype – Preferences – General
  • Disable “Allow calls/IMS from anyone”: Click on Skype – Preferences – Privacy Select “people in my Contact list only” in “Allow calls from…”, “Allow chats from…” and “Recieve calls to your online number from”

How can I report an Incident?

Click here to report an incident or call us at 305.348.1366

What is considered to be sensitive information?

Sensitive information is defined as information, which must be protected from disclosure by state or federal law, or by binding contractual arrangement. Among the types of data included in this category are individually identifiable financial or health information, social security numbers, credit card information, student education records, and proprietary data protected by law or agreement.

What do I do if my machine is compromised?

Click here to read about our compromised system procedure.

Am I in danger of copyright infringement?

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sent preservation notices (pre-litigation notices) to FIU, identifying several students who have been caught illegally downloading and/or sharing files of copyrighted material. These preservation notices also explain the consequences students may face as a result of these illegal downloads. If found guilty, students may face fines between $750 and $30,000 per file! For more information visit our copyright page.

Media Sanitation

What is meant by "Sanitized"?

The drive is wiped to a Department of Defense standard, which entails a 7 pass overwrite action with a 3 time iteration on the storage media to eradicate all data present. Also, as needed, Degaussing or an Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) directed at the media to destroy it will be employed. Finally, there is available as well, a Breaker to physically destroy the drive in totality as required.

What type of equipment do I need to have sanitized?

ANY equipment with the ability to store data MUST be sanitized in accordance with University policy. This includes:

Hard Drives, Tapes, DVDs, CDs, External Drives, Flash Drives, Smart Phones, et al.

If it can store data, it must be sanitized.

Why do I need to have my items sanitized?

As a state agency, the University is obliged to adhere to various standards of data protection, destruction, and retention, i.e. FERPA, HIPPA, etc. These policies/laws must be adhered to. Please refer to the Data Stewardship policy for more information. In addition, it is in the best interest of faculty, staff, and students to have all data protected on their behalf.

My computer is really old! It won’t even boot up anymore! Why should I bother?

Despite its age, a hard drive may still retain information that could be used in an inappropriate or even illegal manner. As an FIU employee you are liable and responsible for ensuring the University policies and Florida State laws are complied with.

How do I go about having my storage devices sanitized?

There is a request link on the Information Security Media Sanitization page, simply click it, enter your information, and submit. OR you may email security@fiu.edu. An appointment will be scheduled to pick up the drive(s) and sanitize them. At that time, an MSCID tag is placed on the item and the appropriate form is signed off on. After completion of all required fields of the form by the requestor, then the form may be faxed to Property Control for the necessary action and scheduling of pickup by Campus Services.

What is an "MSCID" (tag)?

This is an acronym for “Media Sanitation Compliance Identification.” A unique number generated as proof of sanitization. The MSCID Tag must be applied to hardware for proof of sanitation before Campus Services will remove the item.

How long will the process take?

This will depend on the quantity of items you have. But, in general the process takes approximately 10 minutes per item.

What if my hard drive is missing?

The unit will still need to be inspected to verify that there is no drive. An MSCID will still need to be issued and tag applied.

Why can’t I wipe the drive myself?

In an effort to ensure that ALL drives are sanitized in an appropriate, compliant, and uniform manner, and are handled in a manner, which is both able to be tracked and is consistent in procedure throughout the University system, this process has been implemented. Various persons, enacting various procedures is both a time consuming endeavor and results in varying and potentially inaccurate resolutions. Further, proof of sanitization is too difficult to substantiate.
Devices which are not viable are degaussed and, in an effort to remain a Green Department, are given to FIU Recycles for recycling. No devices are ever simply thrown away.

So, what happens to all these storage devices? / I picked up a computer from property control, but it does not have a hard drive. What good is it to me?

Viable devices, having been wiped, are made available, at no charge, to the University for repurposing. Requests for available devices may be made by using the request link on the Information Security Media Sanitization page, simply click it, enter your information, and submit. OR you may email security@fiu.edu
Devices which are not viable are degaussed and, in an effort to remain a Green Department, are given to FIU Recycles for recycling. No devices are ever simply thrown away.