Securing your device and data

For most people, the content and data stored on their device (computer, tablet etc) are far more valuable than the device itself. 
It is essential to take steps to prevent data being compromised and a recovery plan (backup) in the event it is. This is comprised of several main areas.

Software updates

Keeping computer software updated is an extremely important step towards protecting against viruses, malicious code and hacker exploits. This is especially the case for Microsoft Windows-based computers but also increasingly the case for Apple Mac and Linux based systems. SCU computers are pre-configured to receive updates when connected to the network.

Malware & Viruses

It is recommended that you always use both anti-virus and anti-malware software, as these detect different types of threats.

Think before you click! Be aware and don't open or click anything that you have doubts about or weren't expecting. Even if you are slightly suspicious it is better to be safe than sorry, contact the Service Desk to confirm.

If you did click on something suspect or opened a link you are not sure about and suspect a problem, shut down your computer or device immediately and contact the Service Desk. For many threats, the longer they are left untreated the more serious they become.

If you suspect an issue with your personal equipment, SCU cannot recommend a particular computer store but do advise you seek professional assistance as soon as possible. Virus and malware programs are many and varied, and also something we cannot provide a recommendation, however, there are many reputable ones available, such as those listed at the end of this article.

Firewalls - Public Networks

A firewall helps screen out hackers, and malicious activity that attempts to reach your computer over the Internet by monitoring signals in and out of your device and blocking these attempts.

Most work and home networks have firewall protection 'built-in', however, you should always leave your operating system's firewall active.

Be suspicious and exercise extra caution when deciding whether to allow software or requests through your device's firewall when connecting to a public network or hotspot as these are inherently less secure and provide an easier avenue of attack. A warning will usually pop up requesting you click the ok to proceed.

(1) Use a combination of free software programs

There are a number of free software programs available to protect against spyware:

Windows Defender
Spybot Search & Destroy
MS Malicious Code Removal Tool
Javacool's Spyware Blaster
X-Ray PC
Process Explorer for Windows
Security for Mac computers

(2) Buy a commercial anti-spyware/ anti-virus software package

AVG Anti-Spyware
Lavasoft Ad-Aware
Trend Micro
Norton Security
Webroot Spysweeper