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Keeping Your Personal Computer Secure

Computers connected to the UK Network should be secured against viruses and other attacks. UK's Patch Management Policy (http://www.uky.edu/IT/Policies/Patch_Management_Policy.pdf) requires that all networked computers use operating systems with all appropriate security updates and use virus protection software.

You are responsible for ensuring that your computer is as secure as possible. Compromised or insecure computers may be blocked from using the UK Network. If your computer has been blocked, please see the Getting Unblocked from the UK Network document (http://www.uky.edu/IT/CustomerService/kb/security/getting_unblocked.html).

How to Keep Windows Computers Secure

The following are step-by-step instructions for maintaining the security of your Windows 2000 and Windows XP computer. Microsoft has discontinued support for Windows 95, 98, ME and NT. Computers that use these discontinued operating systems should be upgraded to a supported operating system version before connecting to the UK Network.

Step 1 -- Update Your Windows Operating System Regularly

Updating the Windows operating system will add any critical updates that are not installed on your computer. These critical updates will help prevent viruses and other attacks from compromising your computer. You may manually update Windows at any time, and you may also set up automatic updates for Windows. If you do not automatically update, then you should check for any available critical updates manually using the Windows Update web site (http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com) about once a month. Internet Explorer is required to use the Windows Update site.

Microsoft's Security page (http://www.microsoft.com/security/) has detailed instructions for updating the version of Windows on your computer and enabling automatic updates:

Step 2 -- Use and Update McAfee Anti-Virus Software

Virus-scanning software must be installed on any personal computer that connects to the UK Network. UK Information Technology has purchased licenses for all students, faculty and staff to use the McAfee anti-virus software. The UK computing community may install and use McAfee anti-virus software for use on their personal and work computers.

While using the McAfee anti-virus software, you should ensure that the software receives virus definition updates. The anti-virus software is set to update automatically but will not update if an connection to the Internet is not active on your computer. In this case, you will need to manually update the McAfee anti-virus software on a weekly basis.

The IT Customer Service Center has created documentation that details downloading, installing, using and updating the McAfee anti-virus software on your Windows 2000 or Windows XP computer (http://www.uky.edu/IT/CustomerService/docs/mcafee_win2kxp/index.html).

Step 3 -- Update Microsoft Office Products

Microsoft Office software can be exploited by viruses or other attacks. If you use Office 2000, XP or 2003, then you should ensure that Office has the latest service packs and security patches applied. Your version of Office can be checked and updated by Microsoft's Office Update web site (http://office.microsoft.com/officeupdate/). Internet Explorer is required to use the Office Update site.

Microsoft Office 97 is no longer supported by Microsoft. If you are currently using this version, you should upgrade to Office XP or 2003.

How to Keep Mac Computers Secure

The following are step-by-step instructions for maintaining the security of your Mac OS X computer. Apple has discontinued support for Mac OS 8 and 9. Computers that use these discontinued operating systems should be upgraded to use Mac OS X before connecting to the UK Network.

Step 1 -- Update the Mac Operating System Regularly

Updating the Mac operating system will add any critical updates that are not installed on your computer. These critical updates will help prevent viruses and other attacks from compromising your computer. You may manually update OS X at any time, and you may also set up automatic updates for OS X.

To manually check for any OS X updates, ensure you have a connection to the Internet and then click on Software Update under the Apple menu. If there are any security updates listed, install them to your computer. You may be asked to restart your Mac.

To automatically check for any OS X updates, click on the Software Update item in System Preferences. Ensure that "Check for Updates" is checked, and choose "Weekly" from the drop-down list. Your settings will be saved when you close the Software Update window.

Apple's Product Security page (http://www.info.apple.com/usen/security/index.html) has more information about security options with OS X.

Step 2 -- Use and Update McAfee Anti-Virus Software

Virus-scanning software must be installed on any personal computer that connects to the UK Network. UK Information Technology has purchased licenses for all students, faculty and staff to use the McAfee anti-virus software. The UK computing community may install and use McAfee anti-virus software for use on their personal and work computers.

While using the McAfee anti-virus software, you should ensure that the software receives virus definition & other updates. The anti-virus software is set to update automatically but will not update if an connection to the Internet is not active on your computer. In this case, you will need to manually update the McAfee anti-virus software on a weekly basis.

The IT Customer Service Center has created documentation that details downloading, installing, using and updating the McAfee anti-virus software on your Mac OS X (http://www.uky.edu/IT/CustomerService/docs/mcafee_mac_osx/index.html).

Step 3 -- Update Microsoft Office Products

Microsoft Office software can be exploited by viruses or other attacks. If you use Office X, then you should ensure that Office has the latest service packs and security patches applied. A list of all available service packs, version updates and security patches for Microsoft Office for the Mac can be found at Microsoft's Mac download page (http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.aspx). Be sure to download and apply any service pack or software updates that your version of Office is missing.

 

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File last modified January 12, 2005