Computer Care

Protect Your PC

Computer Care

Your computer or laptop is your most important work tool, so you want to make sure that you have it in the best shape possible to help you get work done and stay secure. You want to set it up so that it’s configured to take full advantage of the computing resources available, and you want to care for it so that it stays in peak operating condition.

Computer Care - Skeletons

Question mark inside circle graphic illustrationTest Your Instincts

Scenario (Skeletons):

You see an older computer running in the office or lab. It's powered on, but looks forgotten about, as if no one has touched it in months or even years.

Questions you might ask yourself before disregarding the computer:
  • What is that computer? What’s it doing? Should it even be there?
  • How long has it been since anyone checked on it?
  • Is it still secure and being supported?
  • Should I report it to IT Services?

Old computers can be a risk to the organization. They will eventually fail and if the data stored on the device has not been saved elsewhere, it could be lost forever. Computers also need to be maintained, serviced, and patched for security. An unpatched or abandoned computer is like an unlocked window, a welcome invitation to a hacker to climb in and start infiltrating the rest of the organization from inside. They should be reported to the department technician or IT Services.

Recommended Response

"Oops! I tripped on the power cable. How clumsy of me."

Be a "Human Firewall"

A human firewall is someone who thinks about the cybersecurity implications of a situation and takes appropriate action to safeguard accounts, information and research, and computing resources. It’s the digital equivalent of looking both ways before crossing the street. A human firewall pauses to stop, think, then clicks only if appropriate.

Many users have a false sense of security, believing that technology solutions such as passwords, anti-virus, and network firewalls protect them from the evils of the Internet. Technology cannot protect against everything, so online users also need to be human firewalls.

Old computers can be a risk to the organization. They will eventually fail and if the data stored on the device has not been saved elsewhere, it could be lost forever. Computers also need to be maintained, serviced, and patched for security. An unpatched or abandoned computer is like an unlocked window, a welcome invitation to a hacker to climb in and start infiltrating the rest of the organization from inside. They should be reported to the department technician or IT Services.

Recommended Response

"Oops! I tripped on the power cable. How clumsy of me."

Be a "Human Firewall"

A human firewall is someone who thinks about the cybersecurity implications of a situation and takes appropriate action to safeguard accounts, information and research, and computing resources. It’s the digital equivalent of looking both ways before crossing the street. A human firewall pauses to stop, think, then clicks only if appropriate.

Many users have a false sense of security, believing that technology solutions such as passwords, anti-virus, and network firewalls protect them from the evils of the Internet. Technology cannot protect against everything, so online users also need to be human firewalls.

Basic Care and Hygiene

The following are the basic tips you should follow to get your computer configured and keep it running well:

  • Work with IT Services or your departmental technician to set up your computer
  • Upgrade to Windows 10 or one of the two most recent macOS versions (10.15 or 11.0)
  • Ensure that Automatic Updates for the operating system is enabled
  • Ensure your antivirus and firewall are activated and up to date using Windows Security center
  • Reboot regularly, at least once a week
 
 
Updating your operating system and applications is key to keeping your computer secure.
 
 

The applications you use also need to be installed and maintained correctly. Follow these suggestions to make staying up-to-date and secure easier

  • Install Microsoft Office from portal.office.com so that you get regular updates.
  • Use the Microsoft Store and Company Portal or the Mac App Store to install other apps
  • Make use of OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint to keep your files secure and backed up
  • Browse with Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome
  • Enable update checks for your applications, especially web browsers
  • Connect with GlobalProtect VPN to secure your data
Use app stores to find official apps

Supercharge your workstation

The University has a workstation management service available for all faculty and staff that can further help keep your computer secure and working optimally. This service provides many benefits, automating many of the steps necessary to maintain your computer and engaging IT Services as a partner to enhance your work experience. The service is mandatory and is gradually being rolled out to all computers on campus through the Y2K20 project but you can have your machine prioritized by contacting IT Services.

There are a number of benefits to enrolling your computer in device management:

  • Sign in with UWin Account, so you don’t have to remember a different password
  • Enables single-sign on to many services, such as Microsoft 365, Outlook, UWinsite Finance, UWinsite Student and Blackboard
  • Automatic software download and installation, so the software you need for work is available
  • GlobalProtect VPN is installed automatically so it’s there when you want it
  • Windows Defender anti-virus and firewall is automatically enabled
  • Comes with the recommended versions of software with the latest security fixes
  • Auto-configuration of settings and applications, so they automatically use secure connections
  • Built-in hard drive encryption to prevent data loss if the device is stolen
  • Remote wipe for lost devices
  • Alerts for malware infection or unexpected login locations
  • Quick resets and repairs when the machine stops working correctly or in the case of malware infection
  • Macs and mobile devices can also be managed, enabling a subset of features such as remote wipe