Office of Information Technology (OIT)
Secure a Student Personal Computer
Prevent Infections: Secure Your Computer
- Disable File Sharing
- Set Strong Passwords for All User Accounts (Win7, Vista, XP, Mac)
- Update Your Application & Operating System Software (Win7/Vista, XP, Mac)
- Use an Internet Firewall (Win7, Vista, XP, Mac)
- Use an Antivirus Program (Windows, Mac)
- Use an Antispyware Program (Windows, Mac)
- Secure Your Web Browser
- Follow best practices in the Safe Computing Topics section and the Safe Computing practices below.
Use Safe Computing Practices
Our recommended steps can only protect you from what is known. Using safe computing practices can limit your exposure to these new things that appear on the Internet before the makers of our recommended products can produce updates to protect you.
Some safe computing practices include:
- Periodically run an application (e.g., Secunia or metaquark) that scans and identifies missing security patches for commonly-installed software (e.g., Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, and QuickTime). See Security Tools & Downloads page and Getting Started with Secunia PSI (PDF).
- Never open an e-mail attachment from a questionable source. If you receive an unexpected attachment from a trusted source, contact the sender and ask them if they meant to send you this. Many virus will send you attachments while posing as someone you may know.
- Maintain multiple strong passwords. Don't use the same password for your online banking that you do for your e-mail. This could open you to serious risk. Check the strong passwords section for more guidance on picking a password.
- Do not download and run files you receive from chat buddies without first making sure that the person intentionally sent you the message.
- Whenever you download software, make sure you read the user agreement. Many programs that you download from the Internet come with unwanted programs known as spyware.
- Back up your data. Check the back up your files section for more guidance.
This is not an exhaustive list. There are so many computing scenarios that they could never all be recorded. When you are presented with an unknown situation, always err on the side of caution and contact Technical Support for guidance on how to proceed.
For infected computers, see Options for Infected Personal Computers.