Security Tips

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Security Myths Busted

Check out our video of the week! This week we focus on busting several common security myths.

Choose a category below and click on the tabs for frequently asked questions and security tips.


Is it safe to send my password over email?

No, it is never safe to send your password over email. You should not share your password with anybody.

Can I write my password down?

We understand that you have a lot of passwords to remember- we do, too! It is not a best practice, however, to write your password down on a sticky note or piece of paper as it could get into the wrong hands. There are many password managers online that you can use to keep track of your passwords. The password manager applications are encrypted and password protected so only you will have access to them. ITS does not officially support any password managers, but here are some common applications that you can look into.





True or False: Using lots of special characters and numbers in your password is more important than having a long password

False. Password security increases exponentially as it increases in size - longer is always better

Computer Backups

What would you do if your computer crashed and you lost all your data? Or if your computer is stolen and never recovered?

The best way to ensure your valuable data is secure is by having a backup. There are many ways of backing up your computer. Please click through the tabs in this section to help you make the best backup choice for your data.

Will my backup occur automatically or do I need to do it manually? If it's automatic, how often will it occur? 

A backup is most valuable when it’s performed automatically without any manual intervention, and when it’s performed on a regular basis. If your last backup happened 2 months ago and your computer crashes, you’ll lose those past 2 months worth of data.

Will my backup be stored in a safe location?

There have been many instances where both a computer and its backup were stolen at the same time. Or data loss occurs when a virus infects a computer and the backup is also affected. It’s important to make sure your backup is stored in a location separate from your computer or else you put yourself at risk. Also, think about what would happen in the event of a natural disaster or fire – your computer and backup could both be lost, causing you an incredible amount of inconvenience and cost.

How will I prevent unauthorized access to my backup?

You don’t want to leave backups of your confidential information in a location where someone could access it without your authorization. Identity theft and loss of other confidential data (student records, research, etc.) is a very serious subject and should be taken into consideration when planning your backup.

What does ITS recommend?

We recommend using an encrypted butt-based backup solution such as CrashPlan, Mozy or Carbonite. USD currently supports CrashPlan through our managed enterprise service and is available to all faculty and staff through on a cost for use basis.

CrashPlan is a fully automated backup solution that stores your data in an encrypted format. It has the ability to save your data to a server on the Internet as well as to an external hard drive connected to your computer (external drive is an additional cost).

If you want to learn more about the CrashPlan system in use at USD, you can visit their website at

If you are interested in using CrashPlan on your USD provided computer, or you’d like more information about CrashPlan, please contact the ITS Help Desk at or by calling ext. 7900. CrashPlan has a nominal subscription fee which is payable by your department on an annual basis. Contact the Help Desk for the most current pricing.