Computer Tuning

The internet is full of viruses, trojans, malware, and spyware. Keeping your computer safe from these is very important.

Update Operating System

Whether you are using a Mac or PC, updating your operating system is very important. Updates are released on a regular basis to help protect your computer and to keep it running smoothly.

PC - How to install updates for...

Mac - How to update your Macintosh OS X

Update Web Browser

Your web browser is your gateway to the internet and is often times the entry point for computer viruses. It is therefore important that you frequently check for updates to your browser.

Internet Explorer - Updates are includes as part of your Windows updates

Google Chrome -

Mozilla Firefox -

Safari - Safari updates are included with Mac OS X updates. To update you Mac, go here.

Some Safe Browsing practices

  1. Update anti-virus and anti-malware programs
  2. Use a firewall program
  3. Never click on pop-ups
  4. Never respond to Spam e-mails
  5. Never open e-mail attachments that you were not expecting. If you are ever in doubt, e-mail the sender to make sure they sent it to you or google the e-mail to see if the attachment is bad.
  6. Never click on links in your e-mail. Instead, copy/paste the URL into your web browser to ensure that the link is not redirecting you unexpectedly. For an example of URL mis-direction, view this image.
  7. Avoid using peer-to-peer (P2P) network programs.
  8. Avoid using your personal e-mail address for random registrations. If you are browsing the web and come accross a form that you want to fill out, but you are not sure what it will do, you may want to use a throw away email address to fill it out with. View these Google search results for some Disposable Email services (Note: some sites disallow use of these accounts)
  9. Use programs such as WebOfTrust or McAfee Site Advisor to help avoid sites that are known for infecting computers.

Computer & Software Recommendations

Computer Recommendations

Laptop vs. Desktop

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Think about what you are going to use it for, how much money you want to spend, and if you want to upgrade it in the future.

Laptops offer mobility, take up less space, and students can also access the OSU wireless network in all residence halls and most buildings on campus. For this reason, most students decide to use a laptop when coming to Oregon State. They are harder to upgrade however, and because they are constantly moved around, they tend to wear out faster than desktops.

Desktop computers take up more space and offer little mobility, but are generally faster, and cheaper to upgrade and maintain. They also generally last longer than laptops.

Hardware Recommendations

Computers are constantly changing, so when shopping around for a particular brand/style, it is a good idea to do your research beforehand. The following websites offer good computer reviews and comparisons:

Educational Discounts on Computers

Many computer manufacturers offer discounts for students when buying a new computer. Click on any of the logos below for the educational site for that manufacturer:

Apple Student Discounts

Apple Student Discounts

Lenovo Student Discounts

Lenovo Student Discounts

Dell Student Discounts

Dell Student Discounts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Software Recommendations

Operating System Recommendations

The operating system is your computer's most important piece of software, because it is in charge of running all the other programs that you need, and making sure those programs interact well with your computer hardware. For security and stability reasons, we always recommend that you run the latest version of your preferred operating system:

  • Windows: This is the most common operating system if you own a PC. Windows 10 is the latest version of Windows, but Windows 8, 7 and Vista will also work on ResNet.
  • OS X: This is the operating system that runs on Macintosh computers, and all versions will also work on ResNet.

A Note About Linux: Most flavors of Linux should also work on ResNet. Please be aware that the OSU Computer Helpdesk does not support Linux, so any errors you may have on the network will have to be solved on your own.

Educational Discounts on Software

There are several educational discounts available for software. See our Software page for more information.

MAC Address

Your devices Network Adapter Address must be registered in order to receive network access. The Adapter Address is a unique number associated with your device's network adapter. It is also called a Physical Address, Hardware Address, Ethernet ID or MAC address on various systems. This MAC address should be registered in OSU_Secure or ResNet for better internet quality once you have followed the instructions to retrieve it.

Choose Your Device

Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10▸

Quick Method▸


  1. Press the Windows Key(windows alt)
  2. Type CMD (A search bar will automatically pop up)
  3. Run the 'Command Prompt' program
  4. Type in the command 'getmac'
  5. This will display each mac address. 


Alternative Method▸


  1. Open the Control Panel.

    Windows Vista & 7: Click Start then Control Panel 
     

    Windows 8: Right Click the Start Menu 
     


  2. Got to Network and Internet, then Network and Sharing Center from the next menu. 
     


  3. Click on the Wireless Connection you are connected to


  4. Go the Details in the Wifi Status window Here you will find your MAC/Hardware Address
     





Apple OS X▸


  1. Click the Apple (upper left corner).  Select System Preferences
     
  2. Select the Network control panel 


  3. Make sure you are viewing your Wireless Connection, and click Advanced


  4. Here you will find your Wireless MAC/Hardware Address
     

Linux▸


Not all Linux distributions are the same but most will have ifconfig installed. 

In a terminal window type ifconfig and return.

You'll see a list of interfaces. Your wireless interface will likely be named wlan0 or wifi0. The wireless MAC address will be in the field labeled HWaddr.

You can also use iwconfig to find your wireless MAC address if you have it installed.


Mobile Devices▸

Android▸


On your android phone, the MAC address can be found under Settings -> Wifi -> Context menu (three dots) -> Advanced -> MAC address (should be visible from this screen).

icon wifi context advanced address

iOS X▸


On your iOS device, your MAC address can be found under Settings -> General -> About -> Wi-Fi- Address.

icon general about address

Table of Other Devices▸



Apple TV
  1. From the main menu, choose Settings
  2. Click About
  3. Look for the MAC address next to "Ethernet ID"
    Alternatively: you may find the MAC address printed on the UPC label on the Apple TV box
Blu-ray Players
  1. Press Home, Setup, and then Network
  2. Choose the Connection Status option
  3. The MAC address should be listed
Nintendo 3DS/XL
  1. Click System Settings
  2. Click Internet Settings
  3. Click Other Information
  4. Confirm Mac Address
Nintendo Wii
  1. Online services have been discontinued, but Netflix etc. should still work
    Start your Wii, without a disc
  2. Click the Wii button at the bottom of the start screen
  3. Click Wii Settings
  4. Go to the Next Set of settings, by selecting the arrow on the right
  5. Click Internet
  6. Select Console information
  7. The MAC Address will then come up on the next page
Nintendo Wii U
  1. Go to System Settings
  2. Tap on the Internet settings button
  3. Select the View MAC Address option
  4. You should now see your Wii U’s MAC address
PlayStation 3  
  1. Start the PlayStation 3 with no disc inserted
  2. Select the System Settings icon and push the "X" button
  3. Select System Information and push the "X" button
  4. The third line will be the MAC Address
PlayStation 4  
  1. From the main menu, select "Settings" (located on the upper right)
  2. Select "Network"
  3. Select "View Connection Status"
  4. Scroll down until the MAC addresses are visible
Roku
  1. From the Roku home screen, select Settings
  2. Then choose About
  3. The MAC address will appear on your screen
    Alternatively: you can find the MAC address on the bottom or back of your Roku.
Roku XD
  1. From the Roku home screen, select Settings
  2. Then select Player Info
Xbox 360
  1. From the Xbox Dashboard, go to My Xbox (select the Xbox logo on the controller)
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select System Settings
  4. Select Network Settings

Operating Systems

Whether you are using a Mac or PC, updating your operating system is very important. Updates are released on a regular basis to help protect your computer and to keep it running smoothly. Below are instructions that you can follow to ensure your computer is up to date!

Mac OS X▸


Apple periodically releases updates and patches that will protect Mac OS X from being attacked by viruses and other malicious programs. Configuring OS X to automatically install these patches will ensure your computer is always protected.

Schedule updates

1. Click on the Apple menu, and choose System Preferences.

Mac Menu

2. In the window that appears, select Software Updates from the System section.

Software Update Icon

3. Check the box by Check for Updates and select Weekly from the pull–down menu.

4. Check the box by Download important updates in the background.


Windows Vista/7▸


Microsoft periodically releases security patches for Windows operating systems. Downloading and installing these updates will help protect your computer from viruses and threats. All you need to install updates on your computer is an active internet connection, and the instructions below:

All of the images below can be clicked on if you need a larger view.

Step 1Start Menu

Click the Start circle at the bottom left of your desktop.

Click the All Programs option at the bottom of the menu.

Step 2Windows Update Link

Click the Windows Update option in this list.

Note: If a link for Windows Updates does not appear in this list, you can always access it by opening up the Control Panel.

Step 3Check for Updates

A separate window should open. When it does, select the Check for Updates option on the left-hand menu. Windows will then go online and check for available updates.

Step 4Updates Results

When the check for updates is finished, Windows will display a screen similar to this one, letting you know how many updates were found.

Note: if no updates are found at this point, you already have all the latest updates installed.

If you notice that the number of updates available and the number of updates selected is different (as it is on the screenshot to the right), or there are optional updates available, you should click on the link to view the list of updates and select any that are missing.

Note: Sometimes Windows will leave certain updates un-selected if they are large and will take longer to install. These are still important updates, and should be installed if you have the time to let your computer sit and install them.

If it already says you have all the updates selected, you can skip to step 6.

Step 5Update List

This screen should display a list of available updates. Check the box at the very top (the one above the list). This will select all the updates in the list for installation.

If you have optional updates available, you can click the Optional tab on the left to view them. If you see things like language packs or toolbars (like the Bing desktop toolbar), you can leave them un-checked because they are optional software. If you see any general updates in this list, it is a good idea to check the box next to them for installation.

Click the OK button when you are finished selecting updates

Step 6Install Updates

You should now be looking at the same screen as Step 4. Click the Install Updates button, and Windows will begin downloading and installing your updates.

Step 7Updates Progress Bar

You will see a progress bar similar to the one on the screenshot to the right. This will show you the current progress. Once the progress bar is full, Windows will be finished installing your updates!

Note: Windows may ask you to restart your computer when updates are done. If it does, it is a good itea to restart right away. Also, if you had a lot of updates to install, you should run through the steps on this page again after your computer restarts, as additinal updates may become available after installation.


Windows 8/8.1▸


Microsoft periodically releases security patches for Windows operating systems. Downloading and installing these updates will help protect your computer from viruses and threats. All you need to install updates on your computer is an active internet connection, and the instructions below:

All of the images below can be clicked on if you need a larger view.

 

Step 1

Click on the start button in the bottom left corner of your desktop.

Then typing in "control panel" once the start menu loads up, then proceed by clicking on the app.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2

Find the "Windows Update" link on the control panel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3

You will want to click on the "updates available" button to select which updates you want to install.

 

Note: you may need to have Windows 'check for updates' first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4

You can go through and manually select each update you want by pressing the check boxes next to it. Generally it is recommended to just press the box next to 'name' so that you select all of the updates.

You will then want to press Install.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5

Wait for the update bar to finish before turning off or rebooting your computer. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6

You have now finished updating your computer for Windows 8 or 8.1!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Windows 10▸



Step 1

Open the settings app. From here you'll click on update and security.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2

From this page hit check for updates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3

From here it should automatically download and install available updates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Password Security

password securityIn order to keep your information secure you must keep your password secure. The following are not the only ways to keep your password secure, but they are a good start:

  • Use passphrases (see below).
  • Do not keep your password in open and public spaces (no sticky notes on your monitors!).
  • Change your password periodically.
  • Do not use the same password for everything.
  • If you think your password may have been compromised, change it immediately.
  • Never tell anyone your password.

Use a Passphrase Rather Than a Password

Passphrases are more secure than passwords because they are generally longer, making them less vulnerable to attack. They also allow you to remember your credentials, even when they expire frequently. The idea of a passphrase is to use a statement, or motto, rather than a word peppered with odd characters and symbols, as the latter can be difficult to dedicate to memory.

For instance, try:

  • A meaningful statement: "Carp3 Diem!"
  • Directions to a location: "Down Oak, 2nd on the Right"
  • A reference to what you're accessing: "Check1ng my Onid-Mail!" (NOTE: This is an awesome kind of passphrase, as you can customize it for any service you use, protecting your accounts from each other).
  • A catchy jingle: "I don't always use passwords, but when I do"

It is a good idea to add numbers/symbols in place of some letters for common passphrases. That way, it is harder for an outside user to guess your passphrase.

Now you have a password that's already in your memory, and you can recall this new passphrase with greater ease. Of course, you should avoid using passphrase without adding some special characters, as hackers can attack your account with commonly used statements or quotes.

Please Note: Some systems won't accept spaces in a passphrase, while others won't accept a large number of characters. You can contact the OSU Computer Helpdesk with any questions regarding passwords.

Securing Your Computer

The IT staff at OSU strive to keep computers that are infected with malware off of the network, but despite our best efforts, there are infected machines that connect to the network. As part of our ongoing efforts to increase security for the entire OSU community, we have developed the following guidelines.

Before you connect your computer to the OSU network, we recommend that you follow a standard set of procedures for securing your system to ensure that the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of university systems are maintained.

Instructions for Computers

With these small steps, you can greatly increase your personal computers performance and security!

If you have any questions or concerns, feel to call the Oregon State Computer Helpdesk at 541-737-3474

Web Browsers

This section is dedicated to helping you with different web browsers. Just click on your browser and then on the instructions you wish to see! If you have any requests for information, feel free to contact our computer helpdesk either by email, phone, or by clicking the Feedback button at the bottom of the page!

Windows

 Google Chrome▸

  Clearing Cookies and Cache▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'Settings'
  3. Click on the 'History' tab under Chrome
  4. Scroll to the very bottom and click 'Show advanced settings...'
  5. Under the 'Privacy' tab is 'Clear browsing data...'
  6. Choose 'From the beginning of time' in the drop down next to 'Obliterate the following items from:'. Make sure that only 'Cached images and files' and 'Cookies and ...' are checked (unless you want to clear more)

You have now cleared cookies and cache! This generally solves a lot of browser specific issues.


  Entering Private Browsing▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Then click on 'New incognito window'

This 'Incognito Window' is extremely useful to see if there is a Chrome extension that is causing problems. It can also help you see if you need to clear your cache and cookies.


  Setting a Home Page▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'Settings'
  3. Under 'Appearance' select 'Show Home Button' and click 'Change'
  4. Add the website you wish to be your homepage, click the box next to it and press 'OK'

This webpage will now open every time you start Chrome!


  Showing Bookmark Bar▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'Settings'
  3. Click on the 'Settings' tab
  4. Click on the box next to 'Always show the bookmarks bar'

    Your bookmarks bar should appear under the URL box now!

 Microsoft Edge▸

  Clearing Cookies and Cache▸


  1. Click “Hub” Button (three lines)
  2. Click “Clear all history”

  3. Select “Cookies and saved website data” and “Cached data and file”
  4. Click “Clear”


  Entering Private Browsing▸


  1. Click the “Menu” button (three dots)
  2. Select “New InPrivate window”


  Setting a Home Page▸


  1. Click the “Menu” button (three dots)
  2. Click “Settings”

  3. Scroll down to Advanced Settings and click on “Show advanced settings”

  4. Toggle the “Show the home button” on
  5. A box will open that allows you to enter your new home page
  6. Click “Save”


  Showing Bookmark Bar▸


  1. Click the “Menu” button (three dots)
  2. Click “Settings”

  3. Toggle the “Show the favorites bar” on


 Mozilla Firefox▸

  Clearing Cookies and Cache▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'Options'
  3. Select the 'Privacy' tab
  4. Click on 'clear your recent history' and this box will show up
  5. Click the dropdown arrow and select 'Everything'. Make sure that you only have 'Cookies & Cache' checked (unless you wanted to clear more)

You have now cleared cookies and cache! This generally solves a lot of browser specific issues.


  Entering Private Browsing▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'New Private Window'

    This 'Private Window' is extremely useful to see if there is an Firefox extension that is causing problems. It can also help you see if you need to clear your cache and cookies.

  Setting a Home Page▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'Options'
  3. Under the 'General' Tab is a field that says 'Home Page'. Add in the website of your choice!

    This webpage will now open every time you start Firefox!

  Showing Bookmark Bar▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'Customize'
  3. Click the 'Show / Hide Toolbars' in the bottom left corner.
  4. Make sure that the 'Bookmarks Toolbar' has a check to the left of it. If it does not, then click it once.

Your bookmarks bar should appear under the URL box now!


 Internet Explorer▸

  Clearing Cookies and Cache▸


  1. Click on the cogwheel in the top right corner.
  2. Hover over 'Saftey', then click 'Delete browsing history...'
  3. Make sure 'Preserve Favorites website data' is unchecked and check 'Cookies and website data' and 'Temporary Internet files and website files'
  4. Click the 'Delete' button

You have now cleared cookies and cache! This generally solves a lot of browser specific issues.


  Entering Private Browsing▸


  1. Click on the cogwheel in the top right corner.
  2. Hover over 'Saftey', then click 'InPrivate Browsing'

This 'InPrivate Window' is extremely useful to see if there is an extension that is causing problems. It can also help you see if you need to clear your cache and cookies.


  Setting a Home Page▸


  1. Click on the cogwheel in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'Internet options'
  3. Under the 'General' tab, you can add multiple home pages.

This webpage will now open every time you start Internet Explorer!


  Showing Bookmark Bar▸


  1. Right click just above the 'Back' button
  2. Make sure 'Favorites bar' is checked

Your bookmarks bar should appear under the URL box now!


Mac OSx

 Google Chrome▸

  Clearing Cookies and Cache▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'Settings'
  3. Click on the 'History' tab under Chrome
  4. Scroll to the very bottom and click 'Show advanced settings...'
  5. Under the 'Privacy' tab is 'Clear browsing data...'
  6. Choose 'From the beginning of time' in the drop down next to 'Obliterate the following items from:'. Make sure that only 'Cached images and files' and 'Cookies and ...' are checked (unless you want to clear more)

You have now cleared cookies and cache! This generally solves a lot of browser specific issues.


  Entering Private Browsing▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Then click on 'New incognito window'

This 'Incognito Window' is extremely useful to see if there is a Chrome extension that is causing problems. It can also help you see if you need to clear your cache and cookies.


  Setting a Home Page▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'Settings'
  3. Under 'Appearance' select 'Show Home Button' and click 'Change'
  4. Add the website you wish to be your homepage, click the box next to it and press 'OK'

This webpage will now open every time you start Chrome!


  Showing Bookmark Bar▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'Settings'
  3. Click on the 'Settings' tab
  4. Click on the box next to 'Always show the bookmarks bar'

    Your bookmarks bar should appear under the URL box now!

 Mozilla Firefox▸

  Clearing Cookies and Cache▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'Preferences'

  3. Select the 'Privacy' tab
  4. Click on 'clear your recent history' and this box will show up
  5. Click the dropdown arrow and select 'Everything'. Make sure that you only have 'Cookies & Cache' checked (unless you wanted to clear more)

You have now cleared cookies and cache! This generally solves a lot of browser specific issues.


  Entering Private Browsing▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'New Private Window'

    This 'Private Window' is extremely useful to see if there is an Firefox extension that is causing problems. It can also help you see if you need to clear your cache and cookies.

  Setting a Home Page▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'Preferences'
  3. Under the 'General' Tab is a field that says 'Home Page'. Add in the website of your choice!

    This webpage will now open every time you start Firefox!

  Showing Bookmark Bar▸


  1. Click the 'hamburger' lines in the top right corner.
  2. Select 'Customize'
  3. Click the 'Show / Hide Toolbars' in the bottom left corner.
  4. Make sure that the 'Bookmarks Toolbar' has a check to the left of it. If it does not, then click it once.

Your bookmarks bar should appear under the URL box now!


 Safari▸

  Clearing Cookies and Cache▸


  1. Click 'Safari' in the top left corner next to the Apple logo
  2. Select 'Clear History...'

  3. Make sure 'all history' is selected, then click 'Clear History'

You have now cleared cookies and cache! This generally solves a lot of browser specific issues.


  Entering Private Browsing▸


  1. Click on 'File' in the top left corner next to 'Safari'
  2. Then click on 'New Private Window'

This 'Private Window' is extremely useful to see if there is a Safari problem with cached information.


  Setting a Home Page▸


  1. Click on 'Safari in the top left corner'
  2. Then click 'Preferences...'

  3. Click on the 'General Tab'
  4. Type in your new homepage website address and Close the window

This webpage will never show up every time you open Safari!


  Showing Bookmark Bar▸


  1. Click on 'Bookmarks' in the top left corner of the screen
  2. Then select 'Show Bookmarks'

Safari's version of a 'bookmark bar' is the section that appear on the left side of your browser.



Wireless Troubleshooting - Windows

Wireless Troubleshooting for Windows Based Laptops

For laptops running Windows and having connection issues on campus, refer to these steps.


Launching Command Prompt

Here's how to get there:

For Windows 7:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Type in "cmd" in the search field.
  3. Right click cmd.exe, and run as administrator.

For Windows 8:

  1. Enter the key combination: Win + Q.
  2. Type in "cmd".
  3. Hold Ctrl + Shift, and hit Enter.

Try these quick steps:

  1. Flush Your DNS Cache In Command Prompt:
    1. Enter the following command: ipconfig /flushdns
    2. Hit Enter.
    3. Recheck connectivity
  2. Renew Your IP Address? In Command Prompt:
    1. Enter the following command: ipconfig /release
    2. Hit Enter.
    3. Once the prompt returns, enter ipconfig /renew
    4. Hit Enter.
    5. Recheck connectivity

Other Fixes

The following steps have shown to stabilize connections to OSU_Secure in Windows:

  1. Wireless Certificates:
    1. While connected to OSU_Access(needs to be this network), using Internet Explorer, go to https://csacs2.nws.oregonstate.edu/
    2. Once here, you will be redirected to a Cisco authentication page. You will not need to log in. Just going to this site downloads a certificate you may be missing.
    3. Also go to this address: https://csacs1.nws.oregonstate.edu/ to check for the same certificate, if you didn't receive it from the first link. You won't know if you actually have the certificate or not, but using both addresses gives you a better chance of getting it.
    4. Once you have gone to each, and loaded each page, restart your computer.
    5. Check connectivity now.
  2. Power Properties:
    1. Go to or search for Control Panel.
    2. Click Network and Internet, then Network and Sharing Center.
    3. On the left side of the window, click Change adapter settings.
    4. Right click on your Wireless Adapter(usually Wifi, and connected to a network). Click Properties.
    5. In the new window under the Networking tab, select configure under your wireless adapter name. f. In the new window under the Power Management tab, make sure the box next to "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" is unchecked.
  3. Complete Internet Repair Tool:   This software could potentially fix unknown or unseen issues with your connection, working with the software on your computer.
    1. Complete Internet Repair Tool can be found at the author's website here: http://www.rizonesoft.com/complete-internet-repair/
    2. Scroll down the page until you see the Complete Internet Repair (Build 2103), being cautious not to click on supporting ads.
    3. Run this software when connected to OSU_Secure(limited or connected).
    4. Restart your computer and check connectivity now.
  4. Re-Install Your Wireless Adapter Drivers: (assuming you can get a Internet connection elsewhere)
    1. Find the make and model of the laptop, and the wireless adapter make and model if possible.
    2. b. Search the laptop manufacturer's website first for the driver, then the manufacturer's site for the adapter if needed.

Baseline Standards of Care

This document defines the baseline standards of care for Information Systems in use at Oregon State University. Baseline standards of care are system configuration and operational practices and procedures designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data housed on those systems.

Standards of Care for Unrestricted Information

Access to Unrestricted Information: No restriction for viewing, copying or printing. Departments determine protocol for modification of information.

Standard Operating Systems

Mobile Devices


(systems utilizing an operating systems designed specifically for mobile devices. Examples would include Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Firefox OS, Sailfish OS, Tizen, Ubuntu Touch OS, Blackberry)

Recommended: Current operating system with updates turned on.

For a list of recommended configuration settings and best practices for securing your mobile device, please visit http://oregonstate.edu/helpdocs/security-and-tuning/computer-tuning/operating-systems



Apple OS X systems


Recommended: Patched and officially supported version of the operating system, current antivirus client, and user name and password required for all accounts.http://oregonstate.edu/helpdocs/security-and-tuning/computer-tuning/operating-systems



Linux (or similar)


Recommended: Patched/current version of the operating system, current antivirus client (or equivalent), user name and password required for all accounts.



Microsoft Windows (PCs/Workstations)


Recommended: Patched and supported version of the operating system, current antivirus client, user name and password required for all accounts.http://oregonstate.edu/helpdocs/security-and-tuning/computer-tuning/operating-systems




Server Operating Systems

Linux (or similar), OS X:


Required: Patched and supported version of the operating system, user name and complex password required for all accounts, all unused services disabled, system dedicated to server functions only (no web browsing, etc.)



Microsoft Windows:


Required: Patched and supported version of the operating system, current antivirus client, login required by GPO, use of service accounts only, complex passwords with minimum length, system dedicated to server functions only (no web browsing, etc.)




Standards of Care for Sensitive Information

Required Standards of Care for Sensitive Information includes all recommended and required standards for Unrestricted Information plus:

Access to Sensitive Information: Viewing and modification restricted to authorized individuals with a business need to know. Copying or Printing of Sensitive Information is limited to legitimate need, with copies limited to individuals with a business need to know.

Access to Sensitive Information is assigned by role pursuant to standards approved by the OSU Data Trustee.

Standard Operating Systems

Mobile Devices


Required: Passcode required, lock screen enabled, notifications on locked screen disabled, device encryption enabled, data on removable devices (SIM, SD card, etc.) encrypted.

Recommended: factory OS intact (jail breaking or rooting not allowed), Bluetooth file sharing disabled.

http://oregonstate.edu/helpdocs/security-and-tuning/computer-tuning/operating-systems



Apple OS X


Required: Host-based firewall active, lock screen enabled, auto login disabled, unused services disabled, file and print sharing disabled, OS and applications configured for auto update unless centralized patch management is implemented by the cognizant OSU IT support team, password complexity enabled, remote access restricted.

Recommended: Gatekeeper enabled and configured to allow applications from App Store and Identified Developers only,

http://oregonstate.edu/helpdocs/security-and-tuning/computer-tuning/operating-systems



Linux (or similar) workstations


Required: Host-based firewall active, lock screen installed/enabled, auto login disabled, any unused services disabled, file and print sharing disabled, OS and apps configured to auto update unless centralized patch management is implemented by the cognizant OSU IT support team, remote access restricted.

http://oregonstate.edu/helpdocs/security-and-tuning/computer-tuning/operating-systems



Microsoft Windows (PCs/Workstations)


Required: Host-based firewall active, lock screen enabled, auto login disabled, unused services disabled, file and print sharing disabled, OS and apps configured to auto update (or suitable alternative), remote access restricted.

http://oregonstate.edu/helpdocs/security-and-tuning/computer-tuning/operating-systems




Server Operating Systems

Linux (or similar), OS X:


Required: Remote access restricted, remote root login disabled, insecure connection services (Telnet, FTP, etc.) restricted, latest stable service software installed (SSH, TLS, etc.), host-based firewall active with unneeded traffic disabled (IPTables or equivalent), access lockout if available from off campus (fail2ban or equivalent), password age and complexity enabled, authentication and security logs enabled with logs retained for a minimum of one month (use of logrotate encouraged), specific logs for server application (mail, web server, dbase) enabled and retained, quarterly vulnerability scan performed and found vulnerabilities addressed.

Recommended: located behind physical firewall or equivalent device.



Microsoft Windows:


Required: Network Level Authentication for Remote Desktop Services (via GPO), Local admin account (and any other well known SIDs) disabled, host-based firewall active with unneeded traffic disabled, password complexity/age enforced by local or GPO, unused services disabled, automated security updates subject to GPO, auditing enabled and security and system logs retained for a minimum of one month, specific logs for server applications (exchange, mssql, etc.) enabled and retained, quarterly vulnerability scan and found vulnerabilities addressed.

Recommended: located behind physical firewall or equivalent device.




Standards of Care for Confidential Information

Standards of Care for Confidential Information includes all recommendations and requirements for Unrestricted Information and Sensitive Information plus:

Access to Confidential Information: Viewing and modification restricted to authorized individuals with a business need to know. Copying or Printing of Confidential Information is limited to legitimate need, with copies limited to individuals with a business need to know, and must be labeled “Confidential.” A signed confidentiality agreement is required, both for accessing and viewing confidential information in any format. 

Access to Confidential Information is assigned by role pursuant to standards approved by the OSU Data Trustee.

Storage of Confidential Information on Paper or other physical media: Physical access to paper documents containing confidential information must be restricted to those who need the information to perform their responsibilities. Appropriate physical security, including door and cabinet locks, must be implemented.

Network Security: Systems housing or regularly accessing Confidential Information must be in isolated network segments, protected with a physical firewall or equivalent using a “default deny” rule set; firewall rule sets, including changes, must be approved by the Office of Information Security. An Intrusion Detection System (IDS) hosted by the Office of Information Security must monitor this segment. Systems within these segments cannot be visible to the entire Internet, nor to unprotected subnets. An inventory of systems authorized to be on that subnet will be kept and the subnet regularly scanned/monitored for unauthorized systems. The Office of Information Security will perform authenticated vulnerability scan of these networks quarterly and will inform cognizant support teams of scan results requiring corrective action; vulnerabilities will be addressed during the next normal patching cycle unless other remediation is established or an exception granted.

Mobile Devices


Required: University-owned device, Locked screen after 5 minutes of inactivity, long passcode, 256-bit symmetric-key device encryption, device must wipe data after 10 failed attempts, the device should have a durable physical or electronic label (or appearing on the lock screen) with contact information sufficient to facilitate an expedient return in the event that a lost device is found, use of sandboxed OS/desktop or sandboxed app for accessing the data or other similar means where the data is never stored on the mobile device, SIM card lock/PIN, location services off, disable cloud synchronization for passwords and data, syncing and backup to university-owned machines only, remote wipe enabled, use of public wireless networks prohibited.



Apple OS X


Required: University-owned device, 256-bit symmetric-key full-disk encryption (FileVault or equivalent), Locked screen saver after 15 minutes of inactivity, all sharing disabled, infrared port disabled, remote management for authorized accounts (OSU IT) only, Firmware password, remote access restricted, use of administrator account for day-to-day access prohibited, require administrator password to access system preferences and install software, password complexity and length (min. of 14 characters), password rotation, Quarterly vulnerability scan and found vulnerabilities addressed.



Linux (or similar) workstations


Required: University-owned device, 256-bit symmetric-key full-disk encryption, Locked screen saver after 15 minutes of inactivity, all sharing disabled, infrared port disabled, remote management for authorized accounts (OSU IT) only, BIOS password, remote access restricted, use of administrator account for day-to-day access prohibited, require administrator password to access system preferences and install software, password complexity and length (min. of 14 characters), password rotation, Quarterly vulnerability scan and found vulnerabilities addressed.



Microsoft Windows (PCs/Workstations)


Required: University-owned device, 256-bit symmetric-key full-disk encryption (Bitlocker or equivalent), locked screen saver after 15 minutes of inactivity, all sharing disabled, infrared port disabled, centralized remote management for authorized accounts (OSU IT) only, BIOS password, remote access restricted, use of administrator account for day-to-day access prohibited, require administrator password to access system preferences and install software, password complexity and length (min. of 14 characters), password rotation, Quarterly vulnerability scan and found vulnerabilities addressed.



Server Operating Systems

Virtual Server Environments: All security controls apply both to the host and guest virtual machines in a virtual server environment. Cannot share the same virtual host environment with guest servers of other security classifications.

Physical Security: Must be hosted in a secure Data Center with Physical Access monitored, logged and limited to authorized individuals 24x7.

Backup Media: All backup media must be encrypted. If stored off-site, a secure location is required.

Linux (or similar), OS X:


Required: Field level encryption for protected fields in database, removable back-up media encrypted using 256-bit symmetric-key encryption, monthly authenticated vulnerability scans performed by Office of Information Security, authentication and security logs retained for six months and made available to Office of Information Security, found vulnerabilities addressed within normal maintenance windows or sooner (based on criticality,) annual security audit.

Recommended: system administrators must possess enterprise-level certification, or an equivalent combination of training and experience, for the operating system version in use. Host-based software IDS/IPS.



Microsoft Windows:


Required: Field level encryption for protected fields in database, removable back-up media encrypted using 256-bit symmetric-key encryption, use of Best Practice Analyzer, security and system logs retained for six months and made available to Office of Information Security, monthly authenticated vulnerability scans performed by Office of Information Security, found vulnerabilities addressed within normal maintenance windows or sooner, based on criticality, annual security audit.

Recommended: system administrators must possess enterprise-level certification, or an equivalent combination of training and experience, for the operating system version in use, host-based software IDS/IPS.




ScreenConnect

Remote connect software is available to approved staff and faculty at Oregon State University. The software, Screen Connect, is compatible with almost all Operating Systems, and should work on the majority of systems people have.

Screen Connect allows a technician to remotely connect to a customer's computer to see what they are seeing, walk them through steps on their computer, or make changes for the customer.

Hosting

  1. Open a browser (preferably Internet Explorer) and head to https://support.oregonstate.edu
  2. Click on the “Login” button in the upper right, and login with your ONID credentials
  3. Under the “Host” page you can create a session by clicking on the “Create Session” button

Where to add a host session

The types of connections

  • Publicly Listed: A session that goes on the bottom of the front page of support.oregonstate.edu that customers can view and click the “Join” button for.
  • Code Protected: A session the tech creates a code for, and the customer may enter the code in the “Code protected” section of the support.oregonstate.edu site.
  • Email Link: The tech enters an email address when creating the session that goes to the customer, and the email has a link that directs the customer to the session (This is a great way to create a private session if needed).

Different ways to join sessions

Downloading and RUNNING the program

When the customer clicks on the “Join” button, or follows the link through the email, they will be prompted with a download. It is important they do not just save the file; they will need to be sure to RUN the file after it is finished downloading. (Customers who use Internet Explorer will automatically be given a Run function, instead of a save function, and will not need to worry about this.) Please note customers without local admin privileges will be required to use Internet Explorer for its Run function.

There are a few additional prompts the computer gives after running the program, including verifying the publisher, and allowing the program to make changes to the computer. You will want to let the customer know to click on allow/run/yes, etc. to complete the setup.

Documentation

For more information about Screen Connect, please see the vendor's documentation: https://www.screenconnect.com/

Update Java

Operating System

 

Windows Vista/7/8/10

  1. Open Computer by either double clicking on the icon on your desktop, or by clicking the start button and then Computer.
  2. Click "Uninstall or change a program" near the top of the window.
    Uninstall or change a program.
  3. Scan through the list and uninstall all Java items.
    Uninstall Java
  4. Browse to http://java.com/
  5. Click the Free Java Download button.
  6. Install the downloaded software.
  7. Close browser windows.

 

Windows XP

  1. Open the Control Panel by clicking Start > Control Panel or Start > Settings > Control Panel.
  2. Click "Add or Remove Programs".
    Add or Remove Programs
  3. Scan through the list and remove all Java items.
    Remove Java
  4. Browse to http://java.com/
  5. Click the Free Java Download button.
  6. Install the downloaded software.
  7. Close browser windows.

 

MAC OS

  1. Open the Apple menu and click Software Update...
     
  2. If your Java program needs updating, the Software Updater with automatically update it.
  3. Close browser windows.