Category Archives: Safe Computing

Visit the SafeComputing site for more information. Report a security incident. Subscribe to the Safe Computing RSS feed.

MS Office doc dangers: Macros & enabled content pose risks

Macros are small bits of programming used in Microsoft Office docs to automate tasks. Unfortunately, they can also spread viruses and malware, and anti-virus programs cannot always catch them. Infected Office docs are typically spread through email attachments or download links, or even through cloud services like Office 365. What you can do If you were not expecting… Read More »

Michigan Medicine keeps smartphones smart… and secure

For nearly a year, Michigan Medicine has used AirWatch to provide the required encryption and information assurance necessary to safely access secure internal resources on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The organization’s policy requires staff to enroll personally owned devices in AirWatch if they are used to access the internal wireless network or share sensitive healthcare information. Health Information Technology & Services… Read More »

Workshop offers IT tips for research travel

The flight is booked, the reservations made. You’re about to embark on your research trip to another country, time zone, continent…maybe all of the above. Understandably, you’ve focused on the logistics, and now you’re focused on the research fun. But, if you want to ensure a crisis-free experience, there’s another travel plan you need to make: the IT… Read More »

First Privacy@Michigan symposium draws over 200 participants

On January 30, the university held its first Privacy@Michigan symposium. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of International Data Privacy Day, the event featured an interdisciplinary group of U-M faculty and researchers who addressed top privacy-related—and threatening—issues in an era when the very notion has gotten complicated. The event was sponsored jointly by the U-M School of Information (UMSI), and… Read More »

U-M preparing GDPR compliance program

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect May 25, 2018, will affect organizations worldwide, including universities. The regulation expands personal privacy rights for European Union residents. It will take some time for organizations around the world to sort through, understand, and determine the implications of the GDPR requirements, as well as figure out how best to… Read More »

Protect your privacy on social media

Protect your privacy and stay secure when using social media sites and apps. Before you post, tweet, or share, pay attention to privacy by following some simple guidelines. For example, strive to “undershare” (rather than overshare), avoid sharing your location, and be aware that anonymous doesn’t mean untraceable. These tips and more are on the Social Media Privacy page… Read More »

Secure your home wireless network

If you use a wireless internet connection at home, secure your network so that only those you allow can access it. There are two basic steps to securing your home wireless connections: Update all your Internet-enabled devices with the latest operating systems, web browsers, and security software. This includes any mobile devices that access your wireless network, such as… Read More »

Reset forgotten UMICH passwords without security questions

Beginning February 24, you will be able to reset your UMICH (Level-1) password yourself without having to remember answers to your security questions. Before you can reset your UMICH password online at UMICH Account Management, your identity must be verified. For several years that has been done through the use of pre-set security questions and answers along with… Read More »

Reminder: Secure your devices if you use them for U-M work

Security is everyone’s responsibility. If you use your personal devices—smartphone, laptop, tablet, and so on—for work, you are responsible for appropriately securing and managing them, as well as for meeting the obligations described in Security of Personally Owned Devices that Access or Maintain Sensitive Institutional Data (SPG 601.33). Your unit may have additional restrictions beyond those found in… Read More »

Units can deploy Passwordstate under U-M license

You can deploy Passwordstate in your unit under a U-M license that covers use by U-M faculty, staff, and students on all U-M campuses. Passwordstate allows teams of people to access and share sensitive password resources and is typically used for managing elevated and administrative passwords, as well as passwords for smaller proprietary systems, such as research databases.… Read More »

U-M startup offers new approach to cybersecurity

By | February 5, 2018

Rolling out what it’s calling a “street view for cyberspace,” Censys—a tech startup based on technology developed at the university—has launched a commercially available version of its internet-wide scanning tool. Based on technology developed in the lab of computer science and engineering professor J. Alex Halderman, Censys continuously scans the internet, analyzing every publicly visible server and device.… Read More »

Tax fraud prevention tips

Beware: Identity thieves can file fraudulent tax returns in your name and steal your tax refund. Last year, criminals filed false returns for people across the nation, including several U-M employees. Information Assurance (IA) offers the following tips to help you protect yourself from identity theft and tax fraud: Turn on two-factor authentication for Weblogin to add extra… Read More »

New guidance, services for erasing devices before disposal

Before you get rid of any device you have used to work with, store, or access sensitive university data, you must make sure it is securely erased (sanitized). This keeps university data—and your personal information—from falling into the wrong hands. University-owned devices Sanitization and disposal of MiWorkspace devices is handled by MiWorkspace staff. Others who are responsible for… Read More »

Privacy@Michigan to celebrate Data Privacy Day

Celebrate International Data Privacy Day with a host of faculty, staff, and student experts as they present Privacy@Michigan on Tuesday, January 30, 2–6:30 p.m., in Space 2435 of North Quad. Privacy@Michigan brings together faculty, researchers, students, and staff from different colleges, schools, and units across campus and aims to spark ongoing, multidisciplinary conversations about privacy’s role in society—here… Read More »

Use new address for reporting phishing

There’s a new address for reporting phishing emails at U-M: Previously, people were asked to report phishing to the IT User Advocate at, Information Assurance (IA) is now asking that these reports go to instead. We’ll use the new address for the UM-Ann Arbor campus, but Michigan Medicine is going to hold off on rolling out… Read More »

New U-M self-phishing guidelines & norms

Are you interested in providing anti-phishing education through self-phishing in your unit? If so, be aware that any U-M unit considering such an effort is expected to abide by self-phishing guidelines and norms from Information Assurance (IA). The guidelines are intended to contribute to the success of your anti-phishing efforts and to share IA expertise based in part… Read More »

SUMIT 2017 focused on surveillance, censorship, and internet freedom

The 13th annual Security at University of Michigan IT (SUMIT) was held on Thursday, October 19. More than 550 people attended SUMIT 2017 either in person at Rackham Auditorium or virtually via the live stream throughout the day. This number represents more than 170 universities, corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits from around the country. This year, the university’s… Read More »

Shop online safely with these tips

With the holiday season just around the corner, you may be getting ready to do some online shopping. See Online Shopping Tips to Protect Your Personal Information on the Safe Computing website for tips to help you protect your personal information and devices when you shop online. The tips fall into three categories: Secure your environment Know who… Read More »