Guard against Windows PC hacker break-ins

Last revision March 1, 2005

Suggestions to secure your Windows PC:
  1. Use strong passwords
  2. Install security patches
  3. Share files correctly
  4. Use anti-virus software
  5. Protect against email viruses
  6. Install PCLeland
  7. Minimize open network services
  8. Run a security analyzer
  9. Do regular backups
  10. Apply special Windows XP fixes

This is a general article on Windows computer security that has not been updated since early 2004. The School of Earth Sciences requires a specific subset of these recommendations before a Windows PC can be used on our network. Those requirements are implemented by the Stanford Computer Health Check Tool that is run during the network self-registration procedure, or by equivalent steps done by our CRC support consultants when they setup a computer.

Hackers want to take over your computer!

Hackers are compromising Windows PCs on the Stanford campus at an alarming rate. In almost all cases, they are exploiting known security holes that you can prevent. For more background on hacker attacks see this page.

If you use a Windows PC at Stanford, or connect to Stanford's network from home, please take the simple steps described below to help secure it against hackers. These recommendations are primarily aimed at "stand-alone" computers. The Energy Resources Engineering department supplied computers are part of a tightly managed organizational unit in the campu Windows domain, which sets many configurations centrally. Differences for Energy Resources Engineering users are noted in each section, below.

If you need help to secure your system on the Earth Sciences network, please submit a HelpSU request to get help from our desktop support consultant. Energy Resources Engineering users should consult Nick Petalas first before changing configurations on their department supplied systems. You can get additional background information on security topics from pangea's Network Security web page.

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