Keeping your work PC up to date

Here’s a 10 second video that explains how you can keep your PC up to date, virus free, and running as fast as possible.

Seems too easy, huh?

But leaving your PC on and logged out allows your computer to download any software updates and security patches it needs.

If your PC is logged out, IT can also run important maintenance and clean up tasks on your machine, ensuring it will be ready for the day ahead. And best of all, you’ll never have to wait for new software to download, right when you need it!

If you dont want to leave your PC on every night, or you’re a laptop user that takes your PC home with you, then set yourself a reminder to leave the machine on, logged out, and connected to ethernet at least once a week.

8 comments on “Keeping your work PC up to date

  • Peter Wells: I liked the article. Possibly me having contributed the idea made me like it more!

    Mike Williams: Do you mean Ninite or Ninite Updater? Ninite you have to mention the software you want to check. However Ninite Updater is US $10/machine/year

    I agree with TL;DR but there’s a multiple things that need to be covered. The list I supplied could have a few items combined and could be possibly broken up into a few sections, eg, initial computer setup vs regular use, special monthly activity etc.

    Whatever list is generated there’ll be –
    – some work involved initially in learning it
    – some things may not be necessary,
    1) eg, I deal with a lot of software companies and have 57 passwords. I use Lastpass to manage these. If someone doesn’t deal with suppliers then they probably won’t require a password manager
    2) if you have anything confidential then you probably need to have your computer disk encrypted

    I suppose it’s mostly about expectations. If everyone is to be compliant then perhaps we need a course via Moodle, similar to the Responsible Employee or WHS program, that everyone needs to do?

  • Mike Williams says:

    Restarting non-SOE machines won’t help much, and our non-technical users will have little idea what “keep them up to date” means in simple procedural terms.

    Java is required for LOB UNSW apps, and I believe Flash and Quicktime are still used in teaching applications. Thus I have been recommending that they run a Ninite installer for all their freeware – including Java – at least once a month.

    The longer the checklist, the more likely they’ll tl;dr with a net result of nil improvement.

  • This is a simple thing to say but it’s surprisingly complicated and involved. I’ve been producing checklists for our staff but given the incidence of malware I’ve been considering more and more complicated checklists. I’m surprised that the ISMS doesn’t provide any password management advice – I mentioned this and was advised to only use a few passwords and use one for password for important things and another password for non-important things. I felt that there were many holes in the ISMS system and have started talking to my own customers about security. There’s no talk of resources so I either recommend we use a browser integrated password manager or have to pay for one. Free ones don’t seem very friendly.

    BTW. After we finish Windows 7 and 10, there’s Linux, iOS, MacOS, Android, …

    1) Keep the OS up to date
    2) Have an Antivirus installed and run scans weekly
    3) Think about having a second malware protection program
    4) Only install toolbars and other programs from large companies that can be trusted.
    5) Have a firewall on the machine
    6) Adware blocker
    7) Program to ensure that all software is up to date, eg, Ninite or Ninite Updater (costs US$10/year, checks 92 applications). Secunia PSI is free for home use, CSI is available for businesses.
    8) VPN on laptops to ensure communication is secure when off campus
    9) Ensure all computers have passwords to login. Ensure they automatically lock after a period of inactivity with a password to restart. Good passwords, different passwords for websites. Don’t write passwords down
    10) Use a password manager
    11) Ensure that the account you usually use doesn’t have admin privileges automatically. Ensure UAC is enabled.
    12) Setup 2FA on logins
    13) Disable Autoplay
    14) Remove Java, Flash and QuickTime
    15) Enable pop up blockers and only allow pop ups on trusted sites – pop ups are required for Moodle.
    16) Don’t click on malware in emails or open attachments – training
    17) Avoid pirated or cracked software, only download software from the vendor
    18) Wireless. Only use WPA2 versions
    19) Don’t store sensitive unencrypted data on USB devices
    20) Clear disk before selling it/giving it away
    21) Install program to track and brick computers
    22) Set BIOS password?
    23) Backup process and locations

  • Mike Williams says:

    We have a huge number of non-SOE machines that won’t be covered by this advice. A post on supporting these would be very helpful.

    • Peter Wells says:

      Good point! For non soe PCs and Macs, keep them up to date, and restart the machines at least once a week. I’ll make another video soon. 🙂

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