Carnegie Mellon University

Secure Your Windows Computer

  1. Select the Start > Settings and do one of the following:
    • Windows 10 - select Update & Security
    • Windows 11 - select Windows Update
  2. Select Advanced options.
  3. Choose Automatic for how updates are installed.
    Note: This is on by default for Windows 11. 
  4. Do one of the following:
    • Windows 10 - Check Give me updates for other Microsoft products.
    • Windows 11 - Check Receive updates for other Microsoft products
  5. Click the back arrow.
  6. Click Check for updates.
  7. Install updates if available. This may take a few moments as the updates are installed. Restart if prompted.
  8. Repeat until no updates are found.
  1. Update other software applications you may have. Consider the following:
    • Adobe products (e.g., Acrobat, Flash, Reader, etc. as well as any plug-ins)
    • Web browsers
    • Java
  2. Most applications can be updated by selecting Check for Updates in one of the following menus: Application, Preferences or Help.
  3. When you update these applications, please make sure to select the “Automatically install updates” option.
  4. Run QUALYS Browser Check regularly. This tool will walk you through updating any browser-related applications; and will help you protect your computer from those actively exploiting security flaws through the web.
Remove Anti-virus Software
  1. Click Start.
  2. Type Control Panel in the search box and select Control Panel from the results.
  3. Select Programs and Features.
  4. Select the anti-virus software title you’d like to remove and click Uninstall.
  5. After uninstall completes, restart your computer.
  6. Follow the steps below for your operating system.

Windows 10 Configure Windows Defender

  1. Click Start.
  2. Type Defender in the search box and select Windows Defender from the results.
  3. Turn on Real-Time Protection.

Windows 11 Configure Windows Security

  1. Click Start.
  2. Type Security in the search box and select Windows Security from the results.
  3. Open Windows Security. Select Virus & Threat Protection > Manage Settings.
  4. Turn on Real-Time Protection.

Password Protect Your Computer

  1. Select Start > Settings > Accounts.
  2. Select Sign-in options and click Add (Windows 10).
  3. Choose a strong password (e.g., at least eight characters, contains upper/lower case letters and numbers, etc.)
  4. If others use this computer, select Family & Other users.
  5. Create an account and password for each person using the computer.

Password Protect Your Screen Saver

  1. From the Find a setting search field, search Screen Saver.
  2. Set the following
    • Choose a Screen saver.
    • Set the Wait time to 10 minutes or less.
    • Select On resume, display logon screen.
  3. Click Apply and then OK.

Turn on the Firewall

  1. From the Find a setting search field, search for Firewall.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Windows 10 - select Windows Firewall
    • Windows 11 - select Windows Defender Firewall
  3. Select Turn Windows Firewall on or off.
  4. Verify that Windows Firewall state is set to ON.
  5. Click OK.