Computer Security

Your Security is Our Priority

IST Security acts as a liaison to the rest of campus for operational computer security issues and ensures that students and staff alike adhere to the University's computing policies and guidelines.

 If you have concerns about the security of your computer, CCID, email, or any other day-to-day functions, please contact the IST Service Desk via Remember, we will never ask for your password.

What can I do to protect myself online?

You never know who may be lurking on the internet. Your information can be easily tracked and stolen if you aren't careful! The internet provides people with the opportunity to do many common tasks, such as online shopping or online banking, from the comfort and privacy of their homes.  It is important to understand that personal information and privacy can be easily tracked and stolen if you don't exercise caution when using the internet.

  • Never use your real name. Be a super sleuth: Use an alias that cannot be traced back to you.
  • Never use your primary email address. Use a "throwaway" account instead when signing up for services.
  • Never use your real mailing address if you are not purchasing anything from the site.
  • Think twice before giving out any personal information.
  • Clear your browser history, temporary files, cookies, and stored passwords.
  • Use free protection software and run it regularly.

Remember—your computer tracks everything. Outsmart it!

What protection software is available?

  • F-Secure offers an anti-virus suite for OSX but it is not covered by the existing site license agreement. A trial version of the software can be found on the F-Secure website.
  • Apple also provides free guides to enhance OSX security for experienced Mac users.

What are GlobalSign SSL Certificates

Linux, Mac, Unix, Windows

Through GlobalSign Inc. IST provides faculty and staff accessibility to SSL certificates at no cost for educational use on University of Alberta owned computers. GlobalSign SSL certificates allow full authentication and 256-bit encryption; this level of security establishes a trusted digital infrastructure essential to high-value e-commerce transactions and ensures secure access to applications, communications, and resources. To initiate a certificate download, please contact

How can I stay protected on social media?

Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. We all know of them, and most of us use them.  Social media sites focus on user-generated content, and they allow anyone to share their thoughts and opinions with a wide audience. Whether you rely on these services to run a business, or use them on a personal scale, there are a wide range of security issues you need to be aware of. Social engineering—not technical exploits—has become a primary method for gaining access to secure information. Social engineering is the act of obtaining information by manipulating people through social psychology to achieve a goal. Social networking websites have become a prime target for these types of attacks.

Never accept random invitations from people you do not know!
Never give out any personal information to view a fan page.
Assume that once it's posted online, it's online forever.