Personal Device Security


The first link in protecting the security of information at USF begins with every computer on campus and at home. USF-owned Windows computers have antivirus, backup and file encryption software installed by default. Some of these tools are available for Macs as well.

Because many of you work on USF data or projects on your personal computers as well, please take the time to review the minimum steps that will not only protect USF information but keep your computer running smoothly as well.

University-owned Computers are:

  • Configured with Sophos AntiVirus software installed and set to update regularly.
  • Configured to automatically download and install Windows, Microsoft Office, and Mac OS updates (as applicable).
  • Other software may be updated automatically via LANDesk.
  • Configured to keep Windows Firewall on (if applicable).
  • Required to be secured by a cable lock. (Please see the Cable Lock Policy.)
  • Required to have their hard drives securely wiped when retired.

University-owned PC laptops are:

  • Required to be regularly backed up using USF's online backup service (MozyPro).
  • Required to run USF standard data encryption software (Sophos Enterprise Encryption).

For personally owned computers, ITS recommends the following:

  • Use anti-virus software. Sophos AntiVirus software is available for free for personally owned computers of USF students, faculty and staff. Make sure your antivirus software is set to receive regular virus definition updates. Most computers come with an AV application, but once the initial subscription expires, you no longer receive the upgrades that keep it up to date against current viruses. The USF copy can be updated for the life of the version.
  • Back up your files regularly. ITS has negotiated a discount with MozyHome to save you 15% off one- and two-year subscriptions to MozyHome. This will provide you a convenient way to protect important files stored on your personal computer.
  • Use a firewall to protect your computer from hackers. Windows comes with a built-in firewall.
  • Windows computers: download Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI), a FREE security tool designed to detect vulnerable and outdated programs and plug-ins which expose your PC to attacks. Attacks exploiting vulnerable programs and plug-ins are rarely blocked by traditional anti-virus software and are therefore increasingly "popular" among criminals.
  • Macs: keep software up to date. From the Apple menu, choose 'Software Update...'
  • Use anti-spyware/adware software periodically to keep your computer clear of applications that will snoop and slow you down. Examples are Lavasoft's Ad-Aware, and Spybot.