Computer & Device Security

Keeping your computer and mobile device secure is necessary whether you are at work or at home. The C&IT Information Security Office offers plenty of tips to help you properly manage the security settings on your smartphone or other device, and how to protect your personal computer by keeping your operating system up-to-date and more.

Computer & Device Security

  • What should I do if my files or browser are suddenly locked?

    Ransomware is an especially dangerous form of malware. If you receive a notification that you must pay a certain amount of money to use your computer, access files or more, you may be infected with ransomware. Some ransomware will encrypt your files ...

  • What are computer operating system updates? Why do I need them?

    Apple and Microsoft frequently release updates for their Operating Systems. You must keep your computer current with these updates to protect against vulnerabilities. Many viruses and worms spread rapidly because this essential task is overlooked or ...

  • How do I protect my computer from malware?

    Malware is malicious software that gets installed on yourcomputer. Malware programs:Gather information about your web browsing habits and pass the information on to advertisers.Cause severe damage to your system, such as pop-up advertisements, viruse...

  • How can I lock my computer?

    It is very important to lock your computer any time that you step away from it. Doing so is an easy and effective way to protect the information on your computer system while it's unattended. When you lock your computer, you safeguard your data witho...

  • How do I protect my Windows computer when using Internet Explorer (IE)?

    C&IT recommends Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome web browsers. If you need to use Internet Explorer for a specific application, protect your computer with the security precautions below. 1. Open up a session of Internet Explorer. 2. Click Tools...

  • How often do I need to back up the data on my computer?

    Backing up your data is one of the most important steps you can perform inpracticing safe computing. Unfortunately, this step is often overlooked. Ifyour computer hard drive malfunctions or if your computer gets compromised bya virus or hacker, the p...

  • What are Microsoft Office updates? Why do I need them?

    Microsoft Office has been -- and still is -- a target for hackers and viruses because of its security vulnerabilities. To combat this, Microsoft is continuously working to fix these vulnerabilities by offering updates, patches and service packs. Thes...

  • What is a firewall? Why do I need one for my computer?

    A firewall is a protective barrier that prevents unwanted sources such asviruses, worms, trojans and other malicious code from accessing your computeror network. Firewalls can be either hardware-based or software-based. Thesetwo types of solutions ca...

  • How do I request a change to the firewall?

    To request a firewall rule to be put in place, use the Firewall Rule Request form.

  • How do I securely encrypt a USB flash drive using a Mac?

    Encrypting a portable USB flash drive is a great way to prevent sensitive data falling into the wrong hands, preventing data breaches and security incidents. This guide will demonstrate how to securely encrypt a USB flash drive within macOS so that t...

  • How do I securely encrypt a USB flash drive using Windows?

    Encrypting a portable USB flash drive is a great way to prevent sensitive data falling into the wrong hands via data breaches and security incidents. This guide will demonstrate how to securely encrypt a USB flash drive within Windows so that the dat...

  • What security settings are available on my Android mobile device?

    Android runs on the majority of smartphones across the globe. Due to its popularity, it is also the most targeted. Here are some tips to keep your Android device secure. However, please keep in mind that your Android device may differ slightly, as ev...

  • What security settings are available for my iOS mobile device?

    iOS is Apple's popular mobile operating system that runs on the iPhone and iPad. Here are some tips to keep your iOS device secure. However, please keep in mind that your iOS device may differ slightly, as previous generations of hardware may not be ...

  • How can I protect my computer with antivirus software?

    One of the most important ways you can protect your personal computer (PC) is to download antivirus software and run regular scans. While no antivirus is 100 percent foolproof, there are now many free and often operating system-integrated products th...

  • How can I keep my mobile device safe?

    As mobile devices have become increasingly important in our everyday lives, they have also become a primary target of thieves and hackers. Follow these easy tips below to keep your device and your information safe. Built-in security featuresLock your...

  • How do I encrypt common Microsoft Office documents?

    You may have sensitive data in Microsoft Office documents that you would like to have extra protection for. While you may be storing these documents in a secured location (such as a network drive), they may still be vulnerable to attack and disclosur...

  • What is a digital signature and how do I use one?

    A digital signature is a convenient method of signing documents electronically. Digital signatures can accomplish this in several ways, but are most commonly done using certificates that use a non-reversible mathematical algorithm.

  • How do I encrypt individual files?

    You may have sensitive data in your files and/or documents that you would like to encrypt for extra security. While you may be storing your files in a secured location (such as a network drive), they may still be vulnerable to attack and disclosure i...