Iron Rule 3 | Adopt a Layered Approach

Protect your Data and Devices

This page contains info on how to protect your data and devices from a variety of threats.

Did you know...

If your computer is infected with malware, it could become a ‘zombie’ (botnet) that sends out spam, distributes malware to other victims, and/or launches anonymous attacks over the net?

Additionally, if your devices, including laptops, tablets and/or smart phones, are used to connect to LSE emails or the LSE remote desktop, then LSE data would be at risk if your device is compromised.    

The loss of School data could cause LSE reputational damage, lead to fines, and result in the cancellation of or failure to win research contracts. 

How to protect your data and devices

Passwords are the first line of defence to prevent unauthorised access to electronic resources (including PC, systems, network, files, etc).

Your LSE password is required to at least meet the following:

  • At least 8 characters long
  • Contain at least one upper case letter and at least one lower case letter
  • Contain at least one number or punctuation character
  • Avoid international (non ASCII) characters
  • Not be a dictionary word (in any language)
  • Be less than 12 months old

Keeping passwords strong and secure

See here for guidance on how to change your password and below for tips on keeping passwords strong and secure: 

Creating stronger passwords

While complex passwords can be difficult to remember, a good alternative is to create a passphrase:

  • Use initial letters of an easily remembered phrase: ‘The Red Fox Jumps over the Lazy Dog!’ becomes ‘TRFJotLD!’;
  • Or, you can use a list of names (familiar to you) to make a long passphrase consisting of more than 20 characters.

Updating your passwords at least every 12 months is critical for personal data protection. 

  • This includes both your LSE password ( and your device's password.
  • If any applications or personal accounts use passwords, change these as well.

Password management tools

Although an understandable habit, using the same passwords across multiple online services creates better chances for cybercriminals to steal your information.  

It’s fairly easy these days to have dozens of online accounts – if your credentials for one of these are exposed, it is possible all of your data will be at risk.

password management tool generates all of the complex passwords for you, with the only one you need to remember being the master password.   

Acting as the encryption key to lock the others, your master password should be at least 12 characters, strong and complex.

See here for a list of generally recognised password management tools.

How to keep information safe

MFA is increasingly as important for personal data security as a traditional password 

  • Multi-factor authentication works by sending an additional notification to you via the Microsoft Authenticator app or SMS asking you to confirm a recent login: 
  • Even if someone steals your password, with MFA in place they cannot access your personal data 

Stop would-be-hackers with a software firewall 

Keep personal data theft at bay by installing an anti-virus software program 

Keeping your personal data safe involves regular device maintenance  

  • Updating your device's operating system to the latest version strengthens it against malware, ransomware, and other security risks. 
  • For Windows, go to your control panel and check for 'Windows Update' 
  • For iOS, check 'About this Mac' to see if you have the most up-to-date version iOS. If not, you can always download it from the App Store 
  • The same applies to software updates.  
  • LSE recommends updating your internet browsers (Google Chrome, Safari, etc.), Java, and all Adobe applications 

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LSE Phishing Anne Hewitt, Charlie White