Security

Nothing is more vital to the proper operation of your computer than security. While physical security is important, network security is often overlooked, and prone to compromise. There are a few common steps that you can take to ensure your Mac or PC is protected.

Passwords

Whether on Mac or PC, ensure all users on your computer have a suitable password protecting their account. Never leave an account with administrator permissions unsecured. Avoid using simple passwords such as “password123”, “abcd1234”, as these are easily compromised. Instead, using a password that combines upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and special characters will be much harder to break, and preferred.

Windows 10

Automatic Updates are enabled by default, and the user can set “Active Hours” so Windows doesn’t interrupt your work to apply updates. Windows 10 will only install updates outside of the Active Hours window. To alter your active hours, click “Start”, select the cog for “Settings”, select “Update & Security”, and select “Change active hours”. From here, the user can select the hours they typically use their computer up to an 18 hour maximum.

Windows 10 comes the anti-virus software Windows Defender pre-installed, which is recommended for most use cases. University of Arizona affiliates are also entitled to download and install Sophos Anti-Virus, available through the UA Site License website.

Windows 7

Automatic Updates are not enabled by default. To check if Automatic Updates are enabled, click “Start”, select “Control Panel”, select “System and Security”. Under “Windows Update”, select “Turn automatic updating on or off”. Under “Important Updates”, select “Install updates automatically” from the drop-down, and select the preferred update schedule (recommended at least once per week).

Windows 7 does not come with anti-virus software pre-installed. Microsoft’s own Security Essentials is an excellent choice to protect your PC. University of Arizona affiliates are also entitled to download and install Sophos Anti-Virus, available through the UA Site License website.

Windows XP

Official support for Windows XP concluded April 8, 2014, and it is extremely rare that Microsoft will issue any updates to systems on Windows XP. If you have concerns regarding your computers running Windows XP, please contact us.

Mac

From the Apple Menu, select “Software Update”, and install all available updates for your hardware and OS. Alternatively, launch the Mac App Store, and install updates from the “Updates” tab.

Mac OS does not come with any anti-virus software pre-installed. Sophos Anti-Virus is available to all University of Arizona affiliates through the UA Site License website.