Individual User Security Concerns

You should know who is in charge of the system you are using and where to report problems. For problems or concerns with ARC systems, use the Support Request form.

This guide is not intended as a guide to Unix System Administration, but the multi-user, open environment of Unix requires that you are familiar with some of the features of the operating system to prevent destruction of files and to prevent unauthorized access to your account.

  • Use a Secure Logon Password
  • Be Aware of Your File Access Permissions -- set umask appropriately.
  • Don't erase files indiscriminately. Especially, do not erase files whose names begin with a dot (.)
  • Verify that your files are backed up on a regular basis! Ask your system administrator about the standard backup procedure used on your system.
  • To preserve intersystem security, avoid use of '.rhosts' files
  • If you are running Unix on your desktop system, follow the designated system 'shutdown' procedure before turning the machine off.

If you are the system administrator, do not logon as 'root' or 'superuser' unless you have a specific need to do so. If you see a "#" prompt, it is likely you are in superuser mode and you should consult your system documentation for details about creating and accessing a userid for normal use.