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Office of Information Technology

Securing Your Windows 10 Computer for Use on AU's Network


Every member of the AU community has a shared responsibility for the safekeeping of our computer network. Since it is a common and limited resource intended primarily for academic and administrative use, everyone must observe certain computer configuration standards and usage limitations for it to remain available reliably.

To help you maintain a properly updated computer configuration, a "health check" system, known as SafeConnect, has been implemented on the campus wired network. Any computer connected to the wired network will automatically undergo the health check, which will verify that the computer is not in a state that could result in disruption to the network or exposure of sensitive information.

The health check system will automatically lead you through the steps necessary to update your computer configuration; however, this process could take a significant amount of time if your computer is not already in a secure state. Note that your computer will not be able to access the Internet or AU applications until all remediation has occurred.

To help you speed the process along when you first access the wired network using SafeConnect, we have provided the following instructions for securing your computer. We encourage you to follow these instructions before attempting to log into SafeConnect. If you are uncomfortable with these steps, please contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550, helpdesk@american.edu, or AskAmericanUHelp to arrange to have a network analyst to assist you through the process.

STEP 1: ACTIVATING AUTOMATIC UPDATES FOR WINDOWS 10

The first step to securing your machine for use on AU's network is to verify that you have enabled the automatic update feature within Windows. This ensures that new patches and updates will be automatically downloaded and installed.

 

ENABLING THE AUTOMATIC UPDATES FEATURE

  1. Open START MENU and click on SETTINGS.
  2. Select UPDATE AND SECURITY from the list of icons.
  3. Next, click the WINDOWS UPDATE option on the left menu.
  4. Click the ADVANCED OPTIONS link at the bottom of the main screen.
  5. Under CHOOSE HOW UPDATES ARE INSTALLED, ensure the option AUTOMATIC (RECOMMENDED) is set. You should also make sure the GIVE ME UPDATES FOR OTHER MICROSOFT PRODUCTS WHEN I UPDATE WINDOWS check box is checked.
  6. If prompted with Windows Needs Your Permission To Continue, click the CONTINUE button.
  7. Automatic updating should now indicate that it is On.

If you have questions or experience problems enabling the automatic update feature, please contact the IT Help Desk at (202) 885-2550 or send e-mail to helpdesk@american.edu.

 

STEP 2: ACTIVATING THE WINDOWS 10 FIREWALL

The second step to securing your machine for use on AU's network is to activate the firewall within Windows 10. This improves the security of your computer.

 

ACTIVATING THE FIREWALL WITH WINDOWS 10

  1. Open CONTROL PANEL by right-clicking on the START MENU and clicking on CONTROL PANEL.
  2. Next, double-click the WINDOWS FIREWALL icon, under SYSTEM AND SECURITY.
  3. If your firewall is turned off, click the TURN WINDOWS FIREWALL ON OR OFF link on the left. The firewall should be turned on for all available networks.
  4. If prompted with Windows Needs Your Permission To Continue, click the CONTINUE button.
  5. Firewall should now indicate that it is On.

If you have questions or experience problems activating the firewall, please contact the IT Help Desk at (202) 885-2550 or send e-mail to helpdesk@american.edu.