Security

Nothing is more vital to the proper operation of your computer than security. While physical security is often excellent, network security is more difficult, and far more prone to compromise. The good news is that proper computer security is as simple as user awareness. There are a few simple steps that you, the computer user, can take to ensure robust security is in place on your computer.

Secure your PC

  • Keep your computer up to date! Using the “Start” menu, select “Windows Update” to visit the Microsoft Update site and get the latest MS security updates.
     Click here for instructions on using Microsoft Update in Windows 7.
 
  • Make sure that each user on your computer has a proper password. If any user on computer has no password at all, then your computer is in imminent danger of being compromised.  If any user’s logon password is fairly simple such as "password" or "george", your password can be broken in a matter of seconds. Make sure that you use a password that is easy for you to remember, but difficult to guess. I recommend the use of pass phrases. For instance, phrases such as “jump right in” or “drivearoundtheblock” are extremely difficult for hackers to break.
  • Install virus protection software. Windows PCs are particularly susceptible to virus and trojan attacks.  Proper anti-virus software is required for successful long-term computer operation.  Anyone affiliated with the University of Arizona is entitled to install Sophos Anti Virus not only on their office computers, but on their home computers and personal laptops as well. You can download Sophos AntiVirus from the UA site license web site by clicking here.

Secure your Mac

  • Keep your computer up to date! From the Apple Menu at the top-left of your Mac OS, select “Software Update”.  Use this update tool to download and install all available updates for your hardware and software.  Doing so will ensure that your operating system is a secure as possible.
  • Make sure that each user on your computer has a proper password. If any user on computer has no password at all, then your computer is in immanent danger of being compromised.  If any user’s logon password is fairly simple such as "password" or "george", your password can be broken in a matter of seconds. Make sure that you use a password that is easy for you to remember, but difficult to guess. I recommend the use of passphrases. For instance, phrases such as “jump right in” or “drivearoundtheblock” are much more difficult for hackers to break.