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Computer Security Guide


Lock Your Computer Screen Before Leaving Your Desk

Locking your computer screen is an easy and effective method for protecting the information on your computer system while it's unattended. Learn how to lock your computer.

Create and Protect Strong Passwords

It is important to use one that is hard to guess, and is not a name or a common word found in any language dictionary. Protect it by not sharing it with anyone or writing it down. Learn how to create and protect passwords.

Use Email with Caution

NEVER OPEN ATTACHMENTS! It is possible for an email attachment to contain something malicious that can cause serious problems.

NEVER CLICK ON LINKS IN EMAIL! Type (or cut and paste) the URL into your web browser instead. Web links in email are often disguised and may lead to a malicious web site. Learn what precautions to take when reading email.

Use Virus Protection

Computers are infected with a virus more often than most people. Make sure antivirus software is installed and active on your computer. Learn how to effectively use antivirus software to help protect your computer.

Recognizing and Avoiding Spyware

Spyware is a general term used for software that performs certain behaviors such as advertising, collecting personal information, or changing the configuration of your computer, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent. Learn how to protect your computer from spyware.

Keep Software Current

Make sure that security updates and patches for your operating system and any installed application programs are installed regularly. Learn how to update your software.

Use a Firewall

Computers are often being scanned and probed by outsiders. Firewalls can provide supplemental protection against this. Learn how to protect your computer with a firewall.

Properly Dispose Old Equipment

When you wish to dispose of a machine, you should completely wipe/shred data from your hard drive so it cannot be recovered. Learn how to prepare equipment for disposal.

Virtual Private Networks (VPN)

Use the UCSB VPN service to encrypt communication on un-trusted networks, including the UCSB wireless network. Learn how to use the UCSB VPN service.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) File Sharing

Viruses can spread via P2P, often without user intervention. P2P file sharing of copyrighted works without the copyright holders permission is against the law. Learn more about UCSB's P2P policy and about the risks of using P2P.

Surf With Caution

Websites have become great resources for many things, but they can be dangerous as well. Learn ways to surf the internet more safely.

Backup Your Important Data

Systems typically need to be rebuilt if it gets compromised or is infected with a virus. Learn how to back up your data.

Computer Security Quick Guide (pdf)


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Last modified: 1/22/2008