Here are some of the ways one could modify a Nebula workstation or its usage to lower risk; these require a medium level of effort:
- Use Windows 7 or Windows 8; they provide better default security than Windows XP or Vista, and will be supported with security updates considerably longer (Microsoft support for XP ends in April 2014).
- If your system has a virus infection, have your system rebuilt instead of trying to “clean” it. It is very difficult to completely remove a virus from a system short of a rebuild.
- Enable Bitlocker on all your computers (desktops and laptops). Bitlocker encrypts the contents of the hard drive when the computer is off.
- Disable “File and Printer Sharing” to close open ports on your computer; you can still save and print.
- Enable auto-updating in applications wherever available (Acrobat, Reader, Java).
- Move your workstation to the private “p172″ network, which is not directly accessible from off-campus.
- Do not use USB keys or thumb drives if you can avoid it. If you can’t, make sure they are encrypted and that your antivirus software will always scan them.
- Disable local accounts.