University of Wisconsin–Madison
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7 simple steps to make your devices more secure

Keeping your devices safe can appear daunting, but the following 7 steps go a long way toward keeping your devices and personal data safer.

Protect yourself from viruses and other malware.

Use a firewall

  •  A firewall protects your computer against attack from the network by controlling incoming and/or outgoing network traffic. Most computer operating systems have built-in software firewalls, but you need to make sure they are turned on.

Keep your devices’ operating systems up to date

Protect your NetID and password

  • Use strong passwords
  • Never share or reveal passwords
  • Always store passwords securely, i.e. encrypted, or in a locked cabinet.

Protect your NetID and password

  • Install software to secure your wireless connection, e.g., WiscVPN

Backup your data

  • No mater how diligent you are, you can’t protect yourself from every threat, but you can mitigate the risks to your data by backing up your devices regularly.

Prevent unauthorized use and device theft

  • Never leave your devices unattended
  • Always protect your devices with a password, passcode, swipe-to-unlock pattern, or other security measure.

Use email and the web safely

  • Don’t click on unsolicited links or attachments in emails, or disclose identity information (e.g., SSN, birthdays, etc.) online, including social networking sites.