Securing Your Account
The University of Florida employs various measures to protect the security
of its computing resources and its user's accounts.
Security is Everyone's Responsibility
You should be aware, however, that the university cannot guarantee
security and confidentiality. You should therefore engage in "safe
computing" practices by establishing appropriate access restrictions
for their accounts, guarding their passwords and changing them regularly.
You should not let anyone else use your account. You are responsible for
all activities that originate from your computer account.
You are responsible for adhering to the policies in the document Policies for Use of
GatorLink and the Policy on Acceptable Use
of University Computing Resources. When you use University resources,
you agree to these policies.
What Can Happen if Someone Uses Your Account?
Some people feel that they do not have anything to lose if their account
What can happen if someone else uses your account?
- they can read your personal e-mail,
- they can send fraudulent, slanderous, or defamatory e-mail messages under your name,
- the loss of personal information and resources,
- theft, modification, or destruction of personal files,
- the misuse of your account to commit computer crimes,
- the spread of computer viruses,
- the storage of material on your account that would implicate you in illegal or unethical acts,
The technical support team is on the job, but the integrity of your
stored data depends on you! The following procedures can help protect all
your hard work and save you a lot of headaches:
- Protect your password (see "Password Protection Procedures")
- Make sure you are running the latest versions of virus scanning software
- Don’t open e-mail attachments without first scanning them with a virus protection program (like
McAfee Virus Scan)
- Update your virus definitions weekly
- Don’t respond to spam e-mail with ‘Remove’ messages - this only
confirms that your address is valid
- When online, be careful where you give out your address. Many Web sites require you to register and enter
your e-mail address. Look on their page for a small box next to fine print, which by checking, will opt you out of
getting spam mail from them in the future.
- Sign off of your account whenever you leave your workstation.
Password Protection Procedures
Passwords are your security measure to prevent others from using your account.
The following guidelines and tips should be helpful in maintaining your
- Change your password often.
- Never share your password with anyone.
- Do not respond to phishing emails.
We will never ask you for your password.
- Be sure no one is watching when you type your password.
- Never write or print your password anywhere, including on output.
- Destroy printouts that may contain your password.
- Do not store your password in your dialup setup, e-mail program, or
in files or data sets.
- Don't use the same password for multiple computer systems.
- Never enter your password on an unknown or unofficial web page.
- Choose a password that you will easily remember, but not one that
others can easily guess. For instance, a password that represents
your hobby or special interest is NOT a good idea. Any word which appears
in the dictionary can be "hacked." GatorLink password requirements follow
these best practices.
- Combinations of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, digits and symbols are
recommended and required for GatorLink passwords.
- If you suspect that someone has obtained your password and accessed your
account, change your password immediately.
- Report any suspected unauthorized use of your account to firstname.lastname@example.org
Adapted from February 2000 article "Security Team Cracks Down on
Hackers and Spammers".