Protecting your Work area

You are responsible for activity on your accounts and protecting confidential information that you control. Follow these simple tips to protect your work area:

  • If you deal with confidential information:
    • Ensure your workstation is password protected and all users have strong passwords.
    • Ensure your workstation's hard drive is encrypted.
    • Arrange your office so that people entering or passing by cannot see your computer screen.
    • Keep any papers with confidential information secured in a locking file cabinet.
    • Keep storage media (i.e., hard drive, flash drive or CD) with confidential information encrypted and secured in a locking file cabinet.
  • Keep portable computing devices (laptops, tablets, etc.) out of sight and preferably in a locked cabinet if you are not using them.
  • When you step away from your computer, even for a few minutes, lock the screen. For Windows users, hold the Windows key and press the "L" key.
  • Lock your office door when you are going to be away for long periods.

Protecting Secured Areas

If you ever need to work in secured areas that require special permission to be accessed, take extra precautions:

  • Make sure that doors close and lock when you go through them.
  • If you don't know whether someone should have access to secured areas, do not hold doors for them or let them follow you in.
  • Offer assistance - address any unknown visitor in secured areas and find out if you can assist him/her.

Social Engineering in the Workplace

Social engineering is when someone uses social skills to gain information or access that they should not have. The attacker may seem unassuming and respectable, and possibly claim to be a new employee, repair person, or researcher. Another common social engineering technique is expressing urgency to pressure you into thinking quickly. To protect yourself and Texas A&M, do not provide information to anyone unless you know they are authorized to have it.