Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Secure

Keeping your computer or other networked device secure will help protect your personal information from online threats. Taking steps to secure your device is actually required by the campus - you can learn more about Berkeley’s Minimum Security Requirements for Networked Devices policy here.

To secure your device and keep it connected, start by following these steps:

Set a Strong Password

A weak password is what hackers look for first. Make sure that your passwords are strong and hard to guess! They should be AT LEAST 8 characters and include numbers or special characters. Go here for tips on creating a strong password.

Install Antivirus

Antivirus software will give you a fighting chance against malicious programs that try to gain access to your computer and information. If you do not already have an antivirus program, we recommend you download Avast, available for free here. For Windows and Mac.

Activate Your Firewall

Ensuring that your computer's firewall is enabled prevents dangerous network traffic from exploiting software vulnerabilities. Not sure if your firewall is on? Get a step-by-step guide here.

Enable Automatic Updates

Hackers are finding ways to subvert software every day. Keep your system up to date to stay ahead of them!

In Windows

  • Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel.
  • In the search box, type update, and then click Windows Update.
  • In the left pane, click Change Settings. Select an option that best fits your needs.

On a Mac

  • Open System Preferences and click on App Store.
  • Check Automatically Check for Updates and Install System Data Files and Security Updates.
Keep Your Operating System Current

By updating to the latest operating systems like Mac OS X El Capitan and Windows 7, 8, or 10, you will receive patches that help keep your system secure. UC Berkeley provides Windows operating system updates to students for free. Go here for more information.

You can get the latest Mac OS updates directly from Apple.