This week is Information Security Awareness Week at University of Edinburgh. The graphic design team have made a range of lovely graphics for them based on treasure, phishing, pirates, datastewards etc. And I invented a tagline and hashtag for them.
The information, datasets and creative content we work with every day are valuable assets to the University and to other people. We should treat them like treasure. We should know where they are, how safe they are, who has access to them and how easily they might be stolen. Our feature topic for this issue of BITS is information security. This magazine is part of a University-wide awareness raising initiative for all colleagues and students to take care.
We have information and advice about what you can do to keep you and your work safe, and what the institution support services are doing to make that easy. Don’t underestimate how attractive even your most mundane information about people, processes and finances might be to someone looking in from outside.
The @UoEInfosec team have sometimes seemed reluctant to use the #treatitliketreasure hashtag in their tweets.
I wondered if perhaps they don’t like it.
‘I don’t really understand how twitter hashtags work’ was the reply.
I am participating in the University of Edinburgh digital skills course ‘23 things for digital knowledge‘. Thing 4 is about digital security. I have checked the security permissions on my phone and ipad, but I am particularly freaked out by the idea that your own camera can be used to watch you without your permission. My laptop is often open around my house and that’s not a kind of knowledge I am keen to share.
Even the FBI- an organisation well known for unwarranted surveillance- suggest covering your webcam. I suggest using a cheerful sticker, perhaps one you have collected from an Adalovelace Lego, Wikipedia editathon or even the 23Things course. Perhaps the University’s information security team will issue a sticker of the perfect size.
I heard James Comey interviewed on the radio discussing who the targets for such privacy invasions usually are. I think he said young women were particularly targetted by this kind of phish/malware /hack. In an attempt to find that reference I made the mistake of googling ‘young girls webcam’. Mistake. Now that’s in my internet history.