Computer security is everyone's responsibility! Even if you don't think there is any information on your computer to be concerned about, an unsecure computer may lead to much more serious issues. A hacker may be able to gain access and install a program or programs in the background, unbeknownst to you, causing your computer to share files with other unknown people, or installing spyware, adware, or malware which can lead to serious degradation of your computer's performance. A hacker might also gain access to sensitive or confidential material, which could lead to identity theft for you, or others.

Because your ObieID provides access to multiple systems and resources, it is imperative you safeguard your computer and your data.

Computer protection includes physical, data and malware aspects. Click on the headings or "read more" links, below for more details:

Physical Security

  • Lock your computer down. This is especially important if you have a laptop. Even if you are in your residence hall or office, lock your laptop to an immovable object, such as a desk. The Oberlin Technology Store sells lock-down kits to individuals and provides them free of charge for College-owned laptops.
  • Never leave a computer unattended in a vehicle or elsewhere. Laptops, especially, are prime targets.
  • When traveling, do not store a computer in checked baggage. Keep it with you at all times. [read more]

Data Security

  • Do not store confidential or sensitive information on your computer. Store that type of data on a server or use secure media, such as a secure flash drive.
  • If you must store confidential or sensitive data, encrypt it.
  • Make sure you log out when finished using any public access computer. [read more]

Malware Protection

  • Do not open any files or click on any website links sent to you by unknown persons, or sent by someone you know but are not expecting (their email address may be spoofed by someone else).
  • Do not download software from the Internet unless you are sure of the source.
  • Do use Oberlin College's virus protection software. This comes installed on all office computers and can be downloaded from the Software Downloads page for use on all personal computers. [read more]

If you have questions about how best to protect your computer, contact the CIT Help Desk for further guidance.

2-Step Verification


2-Step Verification, also called two-factor authentication, 2FA, or TFA, is an optional, extra layer of security for your OCMail account.

With 2-Step Verification, you'll protect your account with something you know (your password) and something you have (like your phone).

Most people only have one layer – their password – to protect their account. With 2-Step Verification, if a bad guy hacks through your password layer, he'll still need your phone to get into your account. This extra security can help prevent you from falling prey to phishing scams that hit Oberlin College.

Learn how to set up 2-Step Verification on the CIT Wiki!