DSD

Securing Your Computer

Securing Your Computer

This section provides information about all the software and instruction necessary to comply with the Desktop and Portable Computer Standard. The software on this page is intended for use by students, faculty, and staff at RIT. Inexperienced/non-technical users may want to check out our Digital Self Defense 101 Workshop, which explains the dangers of the Internet and RIT security requirements in greater detail.

Note: You do not have to use the specific software listed on this page. However, you should meet the requirements of the Desktop and Portable Computer Standard for your computer

Anti-Virus

RIT has licensed McAfee VirusScan software (available on the ITS Security & Virus Protection website) for use by students, faculty, and staff on  personally-owned computers. RIT-owned Windows computers will receive McAfee HIPS (Host Intrusion Prevention Software).

It is not necessary to use this particular anti-virus; if you prefer, you may use any of the following products.

Product

License

Company

ClamAV (Linux)

Free for personal use

Open Source

ClamXAV2 (Mac)

Free for personal use

Open Source

Norton Anti-Virus

One year paid subscription

Symantec

Trend Micro Anti-Virus

One year paid subscription

Trend Micro

avast! Anti-Virus

Free for personal use

ALWIL Software

AVG Anti-Virus

Free for personal use

Grisoft

Anti-Spyware

Spyware is very difficult to detect. Unlike anti-virus software, it may be preferable to run multiple spyware programs.

The License for Spybot Search & Destroy (available on the ITS Security & Virus Protection website) is free for use by faculty, staff, and students on both Institute-owned and personal computers. Be wary of other anti-spyware products - many products advertised actually contain spyware themselves! Additional spy-ware products we recommend can be found below.

Product

License

Company

SpywareBlaster

Free for personal and educational use

Brightfort

Microsoft Security Essentials

Free for personal use on Vista and Windows 7

Microsoft

MacScan

Free (for Mac computers ONLY)

SecureMac

Firewalls

Windows 7, Vista, XP, and Mac OS X all come with built-in firewalls; Resnet provides instructions on how to configure these built-in firewalls. If you do not want to use this firewall, RIT recommends the basic ZoneAlarm free firewall for Windows users Other firewall options may be provided by your Internet Service Provider. 

Patching/Updating

Regardless of what operating system you run, it should be up-to-date on all security patches; the easiest way to do this is to turn on the automatic update feature. Learn how to enable automatic updates for Windows and keep your Mac up-to-date automatically

Users of other operating systems such as Linux, Unix, etc., are also required to keep their operating systems up-to-date on security patches.

Software Applications should also be kept up-to-date. This can usually be done from within the program itself or through the vendor's website; some programs have an automatic update feature. Use the links below to find updates for Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe software.

ISO-Approved Private Information Management Software

  • Identify Finder (Windows, Mac)
  • Cornell Spider (Linux only)

Requirements for Faculty/Staff

Faculty and Staff

Information Handling Quick Links

Link Overview
Digital Self Defense 103 - Information Handling Covers important security issues at RIT and best practices for handling information safely.
Disposal Recommendations How to safely dispose of various types of media to ensure RIT Confidential information is destroyed.
Recommended and Acceptable Portable Media List of recommended and acceptable portable media devices (such as USB keys, CDs, DVDs, and flash memory).
Mobile Device Usage Recommendations Recommendations for mobile device usage at RIT
VPN Recommended for wireless access to RIT Confidential information.
E-mail at RIT Improve the security of your e-mail at RIT.

Safe Practices

  • Visit our Keeping Safe section to find security resources and safe practices and to see our schedule of upcoming workshops.

Questions

If you have questions or feedback about specific information security requirements, please contact us.

Online Safety

Online Safety

Everyone connected to the Internet is a potential target. Use of anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall software is critical in protecting your computer online; however, simply protecting your computer is not enough. 

Web Browsers

Cyber criminals often target vulnerabilities in web browsers. Because Internet Explorer is the web browser used by most people, it has become a primary target. Using a different browser can reduce your risk while on the web. The table below lists alternative browsers:






Browser

Operating System

License

Firefox

Mac, Windows, Linux

Free (open source)

Chrome

Mac, Windows, Linux

Free

Opera

Mac, Windows, Linux

Free

Safari

Mac OS X

Free

Configure Settings

Changing the default security settings can help protect you while browsing.  Learn more here.

Update Regularly

It is important to keep your browser up-to-date on security patches. This can typically be done from within the browser, or directly from the vendor’s website. Check for updates at least monthly.

Note: If you use Internet Explorer with RIT Oracle Applications, you may not be able to use the newest versions of Internet Explorer are not certified for compatibility with Oracle at this time.

Use Limited Account Privileges

Learn more here.

Be Smart With What you Do Online

View our pages on Social Networking and Online Banking/Shopping.  Also look for posts on our blog about identity theft, online banking, and scams. 

E-mail at RIT

E-mail at RIT

E-mail is a standard communication tool. Unfortunately, it is also an ideal channel for social engineering and phishing attempts; protect yourself and your information.

Managing Your RIT E-mail

Visit the ITS E-mail Services page for RIT e-mail account set-up and usage resources.

E-mail Signatures

RIT requires all communications relating to Institute academic or business purposes to be signed with an appropriate signature. This includes e-mails from both RIT and non-RIT accounts, as well as MyCourses and Message Center communications. For more information on the new requirements, visit our Signature Standard web page.

RIT Confidential Information in E-mail

When sending RIT Confidential information through e-mail, the subject line of the e-mail must state that the information is RIT Confidential, and must reference the subject. For example:

From: RIT Employee A
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2008 10:05 AM
To: RIT Employee B
Subject: RIT Confidential - Performance Review
Signed By: employeeA @rit.edu

Body of e-mail...........

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: The information transmitted, including attachments, is intended only for the person(s) or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and destroy any copies of this information.

Password

Passwords

Having a strong password is increasingly important. Weak passwords can be "guessed" or "cracked" using free software available online, allowing unauthorized access that can result in identity crimes, extortion, or damage to reputation through the disclosure of sensitive or private information (yours and RIT's). Follow the below standards and subscribe to our blog for password tips and tricks!

 

Choosing a strong password and changing it regularly are two of the most important things you can do to protect yourself online. The RIT Password Standard sets the requirements for your RIT Computer Account password.

Password Standard

  • Be at least 8 characters long
  • Use both upper and lower case letters and at least one number or symbol (in the middle of the password, not placed at the beginning or end)
  • Change it every 120 days (at a minimum)
  • DO NOT use your username
  • DO NOT reuse for at least six changes of password

For more information, visit Creating Strong Passwords

RIT Computer Accounts

To change the password for your RIT Computer Account, visit http://start.rit.edu. Contact the ITS HelpDesk (585-475-HELP) if you've forgotten your password or it is not working.
 

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