Sharing Digital Financial Documents

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Greetings everyone! With tax season winding down, but financial aid season winding up, it is important to keep a few things in mind when it comes to the sharing of digital financial documents, or any sensitive documents.

  • Email is not a safe way to share sensitive digital documents, including financial documents (e.g. W2s, tax returns, any banking information, etc.). More often than not, you cannot guarantee the path that a document will take from your email account to another and an information security breakdown at any step along the way could mean the unintentional sharing of your information with any number of third parties or bad actors. These documents often contain additional personal information that it is better to not share widely. Better to just avoid email if at all possible.
  • Seek out secure file sharing options as an alternative. Any company or individual asking for your sensitive information in a digital format should have some mechanism for sharing that information securely, apart from email. Here at Martin Luther College, we have some departments utilizing LeapFILE to request and share this type of information. There are many alternatives out there, but it is important to request this secure file sharing option from those you are working with, and if they are not able to provide you with something, perhaps seek someone else to work with.
  • If you do share this type of information through your MLC Google Workspace Account, it may sometimes be quarantined. It is best to seek an alternate method first, but if you believe the quarantine was in error or want to talk about it, please file a support request so that someone can look at it.
  • If you have any questions or concerns at any time, please stop up and talk with Network Services. We are more than happy to help you navigate these issues.

There is often a lot to navigate when it comes to information security, but we are here to help in any way we can. May God continue to bless you as we near the end of the school year!

Keep Up To Date

Get the latest security fixes for your software.

The people who build the software you use are constantly working to make that software more secure. Many software packages will inform you when an update is available. Others may update automatically. Check weekly to make sure that you have the latest updates. Follow the links below to learn how to check for updates on your devices:

Beware of Malware

Malware allows cybercriminals to use your device for purposes you never intended. Cybercriminals create malware to mine cryptocurrencies, steal information, crack passwords, and coordinate future attacks. Malware can find its way onto your device in the form of a free software download. It could be installed on your system by browsing a website with a compromised advertising network. Malware can also be transmitted from device to device using USB drives. It’s a dangerous world. Be careful what you click!

Keep Your Mobile Devices Safe

Our modern devices are small enough to take anywhere, yet big enough to carry all of our information. Their small size makes them easily stolen, and the quantity of precious information makes them a very valuable target. Protect your device with a passcode or a password. Always lock them when not in use. Never leave them unattended in an insecure location.

Better Passwords

The best passwords are long, unpredictable, unique, and private.

Long, complex passwords are the best defense against brute force attacks. Computers are fast. Attackers can test many possible passwords against your account in a short time. A few additional characters make a big difference. Use 12 or more characters.

Random or unpredictable passwords are the best defense against targeted attacks. Attackers scour the internet for your personal information. Attackers mine social media shares, newspaper archives, and other online sources for information that could help them guess your password. Avoid using personal information in your password.

Unique passwords are the best way to limit the damage of a breach or a successful attack. Attackers reuse known passwords from data breaches and hacked accounts. Use a different password for every account.

Passwords work as intended when you keep them secret. Treat them like your toothbrush. If you need help remembering your passwords, use a secure password manager in preference to writing them down or storing them in an unencrypted manner.

Information Security Is For Everyone

Throughout the month of October, we are going to be highlighting various aspects of information security as part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. As digital devices and services continue to be key components of the work we do as students, faculty, and staff information security becomes more and more important.

Having good, unique passwords, keeping your mobile devices secure, being on the lookout for malware, and keeping your devices and apps updated are all important components of keeping yourself safe. Any security incident can put your data, your personal information, or even the personal information of others at risk.

That is why information security is for everyone.