Information Security at the Language Center

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  • Email from Randy Livingston this summer
  • Stolen laptops
  • New ITS and CourseWork tools
  • Admit it: the way we teach has changed!


  • Physically secure your machine – LOCK IT!
  • Keep your machine CLEAN and UPDATED
  • Login with a STRONG password
  • DON’T use post-it notes for passwords
  • Keep track of ALL files (USB drives, etc)
  • DELETE or securely archive old files

Student work: 2 choices

  • Delete when done (8/31 at the latest)
  • Store in a secure place
  • Goes without saying: Don’t put it on the web without written, signed permission.
  • See the Handout Stanford Information Security Guidelines - Summer 2009

What's a secure place?

My Experience: Whole disk encryption

  • Dell Precision M4300 – Core2Duo 2.2GHz, 2GB RAM, 4GB ReadyBoost RAM, Vista Ultimate
  • Before: no history of crashes
  • After:
    • Crashed daily (Google desktop)
    • Boot time (especially mail) increased
    • Noticeable system drain during file transfer
    • Still crashes ~1x/week



  • POP
    • Pro: workaround for mail quota 1GB
    • Con: stores mail on local disk ? not secure
  • IMAP
    • Pro: stores mail online (in folders!) ? secure
    • Con: 1 GB mail quota


  • Student work is already there, right?
  • Papers with comments
    • Submission: file upload
    • Return: Drop-box or Scores with attachment
    • Your stuff: My Workspace

Be careful about uploaded files!

  • Uploaded files get downloaded when clicked
  • Example - Paper submission assignment:
    • To view, click it.
    • File opens AFTER being automatically downloaded
    • Where is it? ON YOUR HARD DRIVE!
    • Can you find it? Maybe .... (Location depends on browser, settings, etc.)

Recommendation: Download and delete

  • Right-click
  • Save File As … to your Desktop.
  • Delete the file when finished
  • Empty trash

Blogs, wikis, social networking

  • CourseWork – first choice
    • Forums (Helpsu to set up)
    • Wiki (Helpsu to set up)
  • On the web: - must be in the Bulletin -
    • ITS tools – with justification
      • Mediawiki
      • Wordpress
      • n.b. see Stanford terms of use
  • 3rd party (blogger, wetpaint, facebook, etc.)
    • Just you? OK
    • Not appropriate in most other cases
    • Point students to terms of use

Where do we go from here?

  • Change your habits this year:
    • Keep everything on CourseWork
    • Don’t use 3rd party mail or websites for student work
    • IMAP email or webmail
    • Physically secure your machine(s)
  • Clean out your hard drive and any other storage (usb, etc.):
    • Upload what needs to be uploaded
    • Throw away the rest
    • Empty the trash
  • Wikis / blogs:
    • Learn to do it in CourseWork
    • Plan ahead
  • Work out a program plan with your coordinator.
  • Special cases:
    • CourseWork Project site (New!)
    • Create an AFS group
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