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MCS for Windows 7 & Vista

The following instructions are steps you must take now to ensure that your computer will be safe from viruses and other malware.

If you have arrived with an infected computer, or if it becomes infected while you’re here, you may lose access to the Internet until you clean it up. This may require you to re-format your hard drive and re-install your operating system and all your applications from scratch. It’s up to you to take the necessary precautions to secure your computer.

Before Connecting to the Network

Step 1: Turn on Built-in Firewall

CUIT recommends that you use these firewalls to help protect your computer from viruses and worms.

Windows Vista:

  1. Click on the Start button (most often in the bottom left corner of your screen), and then choose Control Panel.
  2. If a screen comes up that says "Pick a category", please click Switch to Classic View on the left side of the screen. Otherwise, please go to step 3
  3. Click on Windows Firewall.
  4. Turn the firewall on and press OK.

Step 2: Turn On Automatic Software Updates

The following instructions will explain how to turn on automatic software updates. This will make it easier to keep up with critical updates that are released to protect your machine from dangerous viruses and other malicious programs.

Every time your computer finds new updates, you will see a notification message on your screen that new updates are ready to be installed. Do not ignore this software update message! Just say yes and allow the installation to proceed. After the installation is complete, you will usually be prompted to close down and restart your computer.

Windows Vista:

  1. Click on the Start button (most often in the bottom left corner of your screen), and then choose Control Panel.
  2. If a screen comes up that says "Pick a category," please click Switch to Classic View on the left side of the screen. Otherwise, please go to step 3.
  3. Click Windows Updates and then Change Settings. Choose the option Install Updates Automatically.

Step 3: Setting up Personal Password

In order to keep your machine safe from attack, you need to protect all of its local accounts with secure passwords. A secure password is a combination of letters and numbers. It is something that would be very hard for you to forget, but virtually impossible for anyone else to figure out. If this password is forgotten, it cannot be reset. You may want to write it somewhere safe, but remember, if you write the password and keep it near your machine, anyone who finds it will be able to access all of your data and programs.

Windows Vista:

  1. Click on the Start button (most often in the bottom left corner of your screen), and then choose Control Panel.
  2. If a screen comes up that says "Pick a category," please click Switch to Classic View on the left side of the screen. Otherwise, please go to step 3.
  3. Click User Accounts and then Create a Password or Change your Password

 

Immediately After Connecting to Network

Step 4: Updating the Operating System

It is critical that you update your operating system regularly. Without doing so, your machine may not be stable and will be much more vulnerable to attack. In Step 2 of these instructions, you configured automatic updating of the operating system, but after connecting to the Barnard or Columbia networks for the first time, you must update manually.

Windows Vista:

  1. Click on the Start button (most often in the bottom left corner of your screen), and then choose Control Panel.
  2. If a screen comes up that says "Pick a category," please click Switch to Classic View on the left side of the screen. Otherwise, please go to step 3.
  3. Click Windows Updates and then Check for Updates. After the computer is done checking for updates, Install all updates.

Step 5: Installing Computer Security Software

Symantec (or Norton) AntiVirus is provided to all students in Columbia University and Barnard College for free. It will help in protecting you against viruses and other malicious programs.

For instructions and to download the software, please navigate here

Step 6: Scanning for Viruses

To keep your computer clean, it must start clean. Please run a full system scan using up to date virus definitions by following the instructions found here.

Once you have finished the scan, you may use the network. Be sure to review the document concerning copyright-related policies included in this packet. Also, please review the safety guidelines found here to ensure that your machine remains safe.

For information on online resources, documentation, please visit CUIT's site.

Barnard College students should report problems to Student Computing.