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


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 vendor-supported anti-virus product. You might consider the following:



ClamAV (Linux)

Free for personal use

Open Source

ClamXAV2 (Mac)

Free for personal use

Open Source

Norton Anti-Virus

One year paid subscription


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



This should already be built into current anti-virus software.  A separate program is not needed.


Windows 7, 8, 10 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. 


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)

Updated 7/23/2015

Printer Best Practices

Printer Best Practices

Printers often handle RIT Confidential information, but they can easily be overlooked when securing a network. Use the following best practices to secure any printers you support.

  • Update the firmware
  • Assign a password for web access to the printer
  • Change the SNMP community strings (these are the equivalent of printer "passwords." "Public" and "private" are the defaults and are widely known)
  • Disable any unused protocols (Do you really need Novell IPX enabled, etc?)
  • If possible, change the default TCP port from 9100 to another port number (Specific exploits target the default port and may cause the printers to print blank pages. However, some printers may not be capable of changing this port number)
  • If you have a firewall in front of your printers, only allow trusted IP’s (i.e. print server, etc.) to talk directly to the printer
  • Disable FTP or assign a password
  • If the printer is only used for on-campus printing, consider changing it to a private net 10 IP address. (This is a good security measure to prevent malicious attacks from the Internet. If you need assistance enabling this, contact ITS HelpDesk.)

E-mail us at if you have any questions or suggestions.



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). Choosing a strong password and changing it regularly are two of the most important things you can do to protect yourself online.  Follow the password standard and subscribe to our social media outlets for password tips and tricks!

Password Standard

Documented Standard


  • Be at least 8 characters long (a longer passphrase is preferred)
  • Use both upper and lower case letters and at least one number, and one special character
    • We suggest putting numbers and special characters in the middle of the password, not at the beginning or end
  • Change it annually (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 Contact the ITS HelpDesk (585-475-HELP) if you've forgotten your password or it is not working.


Subscribe to RSS - Password