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Kansas State University

IT Help Desk
Kansas State University
214 Hale Library
Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-7722
800-865-6143 (toll-free)
helpdesk@k-state.edu
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Security tips and recommendations

Consider the following security tips:

  • Install K-State's antivirus software. The software is free for use by all students, faculty, and staff on their personal computers.
  • Use Firefox or Chrome as your primary web browser. Even though Internet Explorer is a top target for malicious software, it may be needed for some web-based applications at K-State.
  • Install an Anti-spyware software tool such as Microsoft's Windows Defender (installed by default in Windows 7) or Spybot Search and Destroy, both free.
  • Enable automatic updating for all software (ie, Firefox, Chrome, Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash, email clients, etc.).
  • Consider adding security hardware or software. Security cables, or software, such as LoJack for laptops can help prevent stolen computers and the tracking of a computer, should it be stolen.
  • Use a strong user password on all accounts such as on banking sites, social networking sites, commerce sites, etc. See http://www.k-state.edu/its/eid/faqs_password.html#requirements for information about password guidelines and tips.
  • Set a user account password on your computer.
    1. Open the Control Panel and then double-click User Accounts.
    2. Click Change your password or Create a password, depending upon whether or not you currently have a password.
    3. Set your password to a strong password.
  • Disable Autoplay on your computer to help prevent viruses from being spread via thumb drives and discs.
    1. Open the Control Panel and then double-click Autoplay.
    2. Uncheck the Use Autoplay for all media and devices option.
    3. Click Save.
  • Enable a password protected Screen Saver to help prevent someone from getting on your computer and acting as you when you leave it unattended and forget to lock it or turn it off.
    1. Open the Control Panel and then double-click Personalization.
    2. Click Screen Saver.
    3. Choose a screensSaver, set a timeout period and then choose the On resume, display logon screen option.
  • Require a password on Wake to help prevent someone from getting on your computer when it has gone into sleep mode and they wake it up.
    1. Open the Control Panel and double-click Power Options
    2. Click Require a password and then click Save changes.

A vulnerable machine can be attacked and infected in a few seconds. It is your responsibility to protect your computer and your data. This helps protect the university’s network and resources, and other K-Staters.

For security and support reasons, Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, and older, and Mac OS X 10.2 and older systems are not allowed to connect to K-State’s network.

K-State residence halls have special security requirements for connecting to the network. See the ResNet web site for more information.

To safely connect to K-State's network:

  1. Install the university's licensed antivirus software (free for student use) from antivirus.k-state.edu. A K-State eID and password are required to sign in and download.
  2. Set antivirus software to update DAILY.
  3. Set Windows Update (or Mac Update) to install automatically.
  4. Set a log-in password for all accounts and especially the "administrator" account (Windows XP systems) or your Mac OS X account.
  5. If you will be in a residence hall, follow the additional security requirements on the ResNet Network Registration page.

These precautions are needed because K-State actively scans its network to identify computers that are unpatched, vulnerable, or infected with a computer worm or virus. If your computer is compromised, it will be blocked from accessing the network until it has been repaired and/or patched. Once infected, often the only repair procedure available is to reformat the computer's hard drive and re-install everything. See K-State's Security for Information, Computing and Network Resources policy.

K-State residence halls have special security requirements for connecting to the network. See housing.k-state.edu/resnet.