Swarthmore College Department of Computer Science

unix network security

As a user of the CS Unix machines and network, you have some responsibilities to keep the machines and network safe. Even if you think there's nothing valuable in your account, unix computer break-ins frequently start by gaining access to the system through a normal user account. Therefore, we encourage you to take care of your CS account and keep it secure. The following are things you can do to keep your CS account secure:

  • when you need to leave your computer, even for just a few minutes, xlock your computer by typing xlock on the command line. This starts a screensaver and requires your password to unlock the screen.
  • Remember to logout when you leave the CS Lab or finish working on a computer in the library or your room. This is very easy to forget, but leaves the system vulnerable. The next person that uses the computer you forgot to logout from can take your place and has all the access and privileges you do.
  • Don't share your account (don't allow other people to use your account).
  • Choose a Good Password.
  • Use SSH.
  • Use chmod to set permissions and protect your files.
  • Email local-staff if you lose your microprox tag.