Carnegie Mellon University

Secure Your Computer: Windows 7 and 8

Windows 8

  1. Click Start and Search Control Panel.
  2. Set the View by option to Small icons.
  3. Select Windows Update.
  4. Look for “You receive updates” and do one of the following:
    • If “For Windows only” is selected, click Find out more. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Microsoft Update and then complete steps 5 through 12.  
    • If “For Windows and other products from Microsoft Update” is selected, follow the Run Microsoft Update steps (below).
  5. Click Check for updates.
  6. Do one of the following:
    • If no updates are found, continue with step 4 to change your settings.
    • If updates are needed, click Install updates. This may take a few moments as the updates are installed. Restart if prompted.
  7. Repeat steps 1-2 until no updates are found.
  8. Click Change Settings.
  9. Ensure Install updates automatically is selected.
  10. Click OK.

Windows 7

  1. Select Start > Control Panel
  2. Set “View by” to Small icons.
  3. Select Windows Update.
  4. Look for “You receive updates” and do one of the following:
    • If “For Windows only” is selected, click Find out more. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Microsoft Update. Next, follow the Run Microsoft Update steps (below).  
    • If “For Windows and other products from Microsoft Update” is selected, follow the Run Microsoft Update steps (below).
  5. Click Check for updates and do one of the following:
    • If no updates are found, continue with step 4 to change your settings.
    • If updates are needed, click Install updates. This may take a few moments as the updates are installed. Restart if prompted.
  6. Repeat steps 1-2 until no updates are found.
  7. Click Change Settings.
  8. Ensure Install updates automatically is selected and set to Every day to a time when your computer is turned on.
  9. Click OK.
  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.

Windows 8 - 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 7 - Download Microsoft Security Essentials Anti-Virus

  1. Download and install Microsoft Security Essentials Anti-Virus from Microsoft.

Password Protect Your Computer

  1. Search Control Panel.
  2. Set “View by” to Small icons.
  3. Select User Accounts.
  4. Choose a strong password (e.g., at least eight characters, contains upper/lowercase letters and numbers, etc.).
  5. If others use this computer select Manage another account and create a password for each account on your computer.
  6. Set the Guest Account is to OFF.
  7. Return to the Control Panel.

Password Protect Your Screen Saver

  1. From Control Panel, select Personalization.
  2. Select Screen Saver and set the following:
    • Choose a Screen saver from the menu.
    • Set the Wait time to 10 minutes or less.
    • Select On resume, display logon screen.
  3. Click Apply and then OK.
  4. Return to the Control Panel.

Turn on the Firewall

  1. From Control Panel, select Windows Firewall.
  2. Select Turn Windows Firewall on or off and then select Turn on Windows Firewall.
  3. Click OK.