On This Page:
- I use anti-virus & anti-malware software
- My operating system is updated
- My software is updated
- My computer has a User Account & an Administrator Account
- I protect myself against phishing scams and identity theft
- I clear my private data from Web browsers
- I choose strong passwords
- I use a password-protected screen saver
- I only download software from reputable sources
- My firewall is turned on
- I use eduroam for wireless on campus
- I use Spirion to keep track of sensitive data
- I don't store sensitive data on USB drives
- I use digital shredding software before getting rid of a computer
- I don't leave my devices unattended
- I have registered my laptop and mobile devices with UMass Amherst Police
- I keep track of all my devices
Stay on track with the latest security requirements by checking off all the items on this list.
Use the University recommended free anti-virus (McAfee) and anti-malware software to run a full scan of your computer at least once a month. Make sure you have the latest version of the software, your virus definitions are set to update automatically, and on-access scanning is enabled. Beware of fake anti-virus software and other rogue programs. Always download software from reputable sources.
Download & Install Antivirus Software for Windows or Macintosh
Install Malwarebytes & Scan Your Computer for Malware
Enable automatic updates and receive critical patches as soon as they are released. To keep your computer's operating system up-to-date, go to:
Macintosh: Apple > Software Update...
Regularly update third-party software, especially your Web browser, Java, and Adobe products. Use Secunia PSI, a free and easy-to-use security software, to check and update outdated programs on your Windows computer.
Update Your Computer's Software with Secunia PSI (Windows)
Create a Limited User Account for everyday use and keep the Administrator access for special tasks (e.g., software installation). Learn how to set up User Accounts from:
Protect Against Viruses & Security Threats
Never provide passwords or other sensitive information in response to an email or enter them on an untrusted site.
Protect Yourself Against Phishing Scams & Identity Theft
Web browsers often store information from Web sites you visit (e.g., cookies). Clear this information often, especially if you use a public or shared computer, or set up your browser to do it automatically. Check the browser’s help for instructions. Never save passwords in a Web browser.
Your IT Account password should be different from your other passwords. Build your passwords using UMass IT’s Rules for Passwords and remember to change them quarterly.
'Locking' the screen or using a password-protected screen saver allows you to lock your computer without shutting it down when stepping away from your desk. Press the Windows key + L to lock your Windows computer. To protect your cell phone data, enable a passcode and set it to auto-lock.
Malware, which includes viruses, spyware, adware, and other malicious software, is often disguised as, or bundled with, legitimate software. Only download software from sources that you trust.
Most computers have a built-in firewall that blocks unauthorized access. Make sure your firewall is on and keep it up-to-date. For more information, check your operating system’s Web site.
eduroam is fast, convenient, and secure. Use our setup wizard to configure your computer, then connect automatically from any wireless coverage area on campus.
Wireless Network Access
Run Spirion, a free security tool, to find sensitive data (e.g., Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers) on your computer. Back up important files to a secure location and delete the files you no longer need.
Spirion at UMass Amherst
Any portable storage device can be easily lost or stolen. For grades, finances, and other important data, use a more secure storage space, such as Box. For University data, talk to your supervisor about recommended storage.
Box: Secure Online Storage
Manually deleting files on your computer will only remove part of the information. Digital shredding software will completely overwrite your hard drive and make your files irretrievable.
Purchase a security cable for your laptop.
I will file a police report if any of my devices are lost or stolen.
UMass Amherst Police Department
Record the make, model, and 12-character identifier (a.k.a. MAC Address) of your computing devices. This may help locate them if they are lost or stolen. To find a device’s MAC Address, check UMass IT’s instructions, the product manual, or packaging.
Find Your MAC Address