Office of Information Technology

Securing Your Windows Vista 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 network. Any connected computer 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 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 VISTA

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. Click the START MENU button. Then, select CONTROL PANEL.
  2. On the left panel, click CLASSIC VIEW. You should now see a bullet next to Classic View.
  3. Next, double-click the SECURITY CENTER icon.
  4. If automatic updating is turned off, click the CHANGE SETTINGS button.
  5. Choose the INSTALL UPDATES AUTOMATICALLY (RECOMMENDED) option.
  6. When 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 VISTA FIREWALL

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

 

ACTIVATING THE FIREWALL WITH WINDOWS VISTA

  1. Click the START MENU button. Then, select CONTROL PANEL.
  2. On the left panel, click CLASSIC VIEW. You should now see a bullet next to Classic View.
  3. Next, double-click the SECURITY CENTER icon.
  4. If your firewall is turned off, click the TURN ON NOW button.
  5. When prompted with Windows Needs Your Permission To Continue, click the CONTINUE button.
  6. 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.

STEP 3: INSTALLING THE AU-LICENSED SYMANTEC ENDPOINT PROTECTION

The final step to securing your machine for use on AU's network is to install Symantec Endpoint Protection and enable the automatic update feature.

INSTALLING SYMANTEC ENDPOINT PROTECTION

IMPORTANT: Make sure you uninstall any old virus scanning software, before installing Symantec Endpoint Protection. You can use the uninstall utility, provided by most virus scanners, or the UNINSTALL A PROGRAM utility from the CONTROL PANEL. Then, reboot your computer before installing Symantec EndPoint Protection.

  1. From the TECHNOLOGY section when you log on to the myAU.american.edu portal, click the DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE link.
  2. Click on the link labeled SYMANTEC ENDPOINT PROTECTION 11 for 32 bit Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. If you have a 64 bit version of Windows, you should download the 64 bit version of SYMANTEC ENDPOINT PROTECTION.
  3. Click SAVE to begin the download.
  4. From the desktop, double-click the downloaded file to run the installer.
  5. If prompted, click ALLOW.
  6. After the files are copied to your system, the system will update the virus definition files.
  7. Click OK to end the installation. Then, click OK again to delete temporary files.
  8. After it finishes, click the CLOSE button to close the window. You may delete the installer files from the desktop.
  9. Restart your computer.

LiveUpdate should update weekly by default.

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