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Keep Your PC Safe (Windows 7, Vista or XP). Nora Lucke 02/05/2012 Documents - 5 steps to Security for User-managed PCs. Use passwords to control access to your PC

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keep your pc safe windows 7 vista or xp

Keep Your PC Safe(Windows 7, Vista or XP)

Nora Lucke


Documents -

5 steps to security for user managed pcs
5 steps to Security for User-managed PCs
  • Use passwords to control access to your PC
  • Install Windows Updates (patches) to guard against network worms (programs that install themselves so they can do damage)
  • Install a virus checker and set it to scan your whole hard disk at least weekly
  • Use a personal firewall
  • Remove Spyware

These are ESSENTIAL maintenance

why do i need passwords
Why do I need Passwords?
  • People who might use your computer when you are not there
      • Cleaner
      • Security Guard
      • Tradesmen (various)
      • Intruder inside the building
      • Intruder controlling your computer from outside
      • Colleague
      • Burglar

Do you want to be blamed forwhat they do?

windows computers need a password for the local administrator account
Windows computers NEED a password for the Local Administrator account
  • The Local Administrator account can be used to log on to the PC remotely to make changes, so a password is ESSENTIAL
  • The Administrator password must be known, and kept safe in an agreed place
  • If an IT person sets up your computer, they should keep a record of it.
  • Users can be an Administrator if necessary, but should not be the Administrator
  • Microsoft advice is to be a limited user, and only log in as an administrator to install programs
how do i do it
How do I do it?

For User passwords

  • Use the Control Panel
    • Look for User Accounts
  • Choose a password you can remember
  • Make it a combination of letters and numbers (strong password)
  • If you must write it down, hide it
  • Don’t use it for other things
what are windows updates why do i need them
What are Windows updates, & why do I need them?
  • Hackers and criminals keep finding problems in Windows they can exploit, so Microsoft need to keep updating it. Check the System Tray.
  • Updates address known issues and help protect against known security threats which have been discovered since Windows was released.
  • Updates can be downloaded automatically, though some updates require you to accept an End User License Agreement (EULA), or restart your computer after installation.
  • NEVER be too busy to install them – you can continue to work while they are installed.
microsoft updates xp
Microsoft Updates (XP)
  • Windows XP is now the oldest supported OS – (until April 2014). Please update older systems
  • Use the Microsoft Update Web site at and follow the instructions there
microsoft updates windows 7 or vista
Microsoft Updates (Windows 7 or Vista)
  • Use the Windows Updates Control Panel (may be in the Security Control Panel.)
  • After installing updates, click ‘Change Settings’
windows updates automatic
Windows Updates – Automatic?

Your PC can be set up to do this ITSELF

virus checkers
Virus Checkers
  • If your computer comes with Norton or MacAfee, YOU have to PAY for the updates after some months
  • Use F-Secure or Sophos for which UCL already pays
    • download it from
  • Use F-Secure at home too – it’s also for home use
  • REMOVE any other virus checker BEFORE installing a new one. (Control Panel - Programs & Features or Add/Remove Programs for XP)
  • Ensure the virus checker is running all the time
  • Set it to scan your hard disk at least WEEKLY
  • Use it to remove any viruses detected – and if you can’t, get help
  • DON’T automatically open attachments
  • A Firewall will protect you from unauthorised access from the Internet, & infected computers around you
  • The latest version of F-Secure (free for UCL staff & students) includes a firewall (
  • It also includes a rootkit detector (rootkits help intruders maintain complete access your PC while avoiding detection.)
  • The F-Secure Firewall may ask you questions about what to allow – if in doubt, DENY
  • Set it to scan web traffic
  • Only use ONE firewall in Windows please
  • For broadband at home, you may have a firewall already, but F-Secure should sort things out for you.
what are spyware and adware
What are Spyware and Adware?
  • Spyware is software that sends your personal information to a third party without your permission or knowledge (Web sites you visit, even sometimes user names and passwords)
  • Adware is software that displays advertisements on your computer. They can inexplicably pop up on your display screen, even if you're not browsing the Internet.
  • Some companies provide "free" software in exchange for advertising on your PC. It's how they make their money.
do they matter
Do they matter?
  • Adware can cause performance issues
    • IE might not work properly
    • Your PC might hang and crash
    • Your PC might slow down
  • Spyware can be used by criminal gangs to
    • Steal your identity
    • Raid your Bank Accounts
what should i do about spyware
What should I do about Spyware?
  • Use an anti-virus with Spyware protection (F-Secure)
  • DON’T download ‘free’ software from the Internet (Google for information, use or for freeware or shareware)
  • DON’T thoughtlessly click on URLs in emails
  • NEVER reply with personal information or passwords
  • SCAN often for spyware & CHECK F-Secure
  • BE careful with IRC - ‘Messenger’ type programs.
  • If not using F-Secure, use Windows Defender (Ad-Aware or Spybot for Spyware on older computers)
  • Update to IE 9 if you don’t use FIS, or use Firefox etc.
  • Turn on pop-up blocker and Smart Screen Filter
summary ensure your pc
Summary - Ensure your PC
  • Is password protected so you control who is using it
  • Has all Windows updates, so there are no holes that can be exploited
  • Has virus protection RUNNING (so you spot infected files) and scanning your disk REGULARLY
  • Has a personal firewall to protect it from other PCs around you
  • Is protected from Spyware, Ad-ware and pop-ups while you are web-surfing
your pc is safe now protect your data
Your PC is safe, now protect your data
  • 1) BACKUP –
    • Every hard disk has a mean time to fail
      • Electronic Failure
      • Physical Failure
    • Data retrieval is expensive – and may be impossible.
  • 2) ENCRYPT your sensitive data
  • 3) Keep your PC clean