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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

Keep Your Device Safe

Protect your devices


  • Install antivirus software - It is important to install an antivirus on any device whether Windows, Linux, or MAC. Such tools are designed to keep unwanted malware from getting onto your computer, to cleanse and stop malware that has made it onto your PC from communicating with the open internet.

  • Lock your device - Use a lock screen as it provides an extra layer of security to your device by having to enter a PIN, password, fingerprint, or pattern to unlock it.

  • Check for updates often - Software updates often include the latest security patches, and they'll ensure all elements of your PC can work together properly. It's important to keep your software up-to-date to thwart new security threats.

  • Use different, strong passwords for different services - Security breaches often release passwords related to usernames and email addresses. Anyone with this information can access the other services you signed up for with the same credentials. That is unless you use a different password.

  • Use a VPN for public Wi-Fi - Public Wi-Fi is a great convenience but is not secure. Its unencrypted status means that anyone with the means could be potentially spying on your traffic. The solution here is a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs are essentially encrypted tunnels that shuttle your data between your PC and the open internet, removing the issue of an open Wi-Fi connection.

  • Full-disk encryption and backups - Enabling full-disk encryption is an additional layer of protection. This way, if your device is stolen, thieves won’t be able to access any private data. That doesn’t change the fact that the data held on that device might be lost forever. Therefore, keeping a back-up of your data is equally important.