Safer Computing Guide | University of Oregon: Information Security
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Safer Computing Guide

Four Step Security Guide

1. Install Anti-virus Software
Installing Anti-virus software protects you from many of the day-to-day security threats your PC faces. The University of Oregon has purchased a site license for McAfee's VirusScanĀ® Enterprise for Windows and Macintosh. This license allows us to distribute this software free of charge to current UO students, faculty and staff for use both at home and work. This software also includes a component that guards against spyware.

Click here to learn how to download and install McAfee VirusScanĀ®

2. Install and/or enable a firewall
If your computer is running Windows XP Service Pack 2, there is a firewall installed by default. For instructions on how to enable the Windows firewall, please click the link below for a step by step guide. If you are not running Windows XP Service Pack 2, you must install a firewall. For optimal security, we recommend that your computer is running at least Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Click here to learn how to enable your Operating System's Firewall

3. Update your Operating System
Your operating system (Windows, Mac OS, etc.) must be updated often in order to stay protected from the latest security vulnerabilities (viruses, malware, spyware etc.). For instructions on how to update your operating system, click on the link below.

Click here to learn how to update your operating system

4. Use a Strong Password
In order for your computer to be secure from both remote and local intrusion you must utilize a strong password. A strong password is simply a password that is not easily guessed or otherwise obtained by another person or a program. A strong password contains a random sequence of letters (upper case and lower case), numbers and symbols. A strong password does NOT contain words that can be found in the dictionary.

Click here to learn how to create a strong password

Security Recommendations

Security Checklists (Requires Adobe Reader)
System Administrator Security Checklist
Staff/Faculty Security Checklist
Student Security Checklist

Avoid Peer-to-peer networks
Peer-to-peer networks often harbor malicious software bundled with other files. It is best to avoid using peer-to-peer networks because they present a significant security (and many times legal) risk to you and your computer.

Use Mozilla Firefox instead of Microsoft Internet Explorer
By using Mozilla Firefox to browse the Internet your are much less likely to accidentally acquire malicious software. You can obtain Mozilla Firefox from their website at

Advanced Security Recommendations

On Guard Online | US Government Safer Computing Guide
MacDevCenter | Mac OS X Firewall Configuration
Microsoft | Security Guide | Windows 2000
Microsoft | Security Guide | Windows 2003
Microsoft | Security Guide | Windows XP
NSA | Security Configuration Guides | Operating Systems