Always keep your operating system and installed programs up to date.

Check the settings of programs and operating system. In many programs there are various open and hidden settings that make your system more secure. Various, possibly undesirable tracking functions are often switched on by default.

  • Keep your operating system and all installed programs up to date. The manufacturers regularly provide smaller updates - so-called patches - that plug security gaps. In the settings, you can often select the option to install this automatically.
  • Set a good password for each account.
  • Use up-to-date antivirus software and a local firewall, and check your system from time to time with another operating system, for example using a live CD.
  • Have the file extension / extension displayed for all directories in Explorer (with default settings, the display is switched off!). This is the only way to recognize whether a seemingly harmless file "hello.txt" is actually an executable "hello.txt.exe".
  • Set Office software so that macros are not allowed to run automatically at startup.
  • Turn off unnecessary services (e.g. Windows file and printer sharing completely or at least on the interface to the Internet).




Am I safe behind the firewall of the University of Basel?

Unfortunately not! The university's firewall protects the internal network only against a large part of the unwanted data traffic from the Internet. But all "allowed" data, such as that transmitted when visiting websites, sending and receiving e-mails, or downloading programs, reaches your computer without further control by a firewall. In addition, the University firewall cannot prevent attacks from compromised computers within the University network. "Inside" also includes computers that connect to the Uninetz from home or on the road via PPP connections or via the Virtual Private Network (VPN). Worm attacks on internal computers often originate from these often poorly maintained computers.

Is antivirus software enough protection?

No! Antivirus software can usually only detect threats that are already known to it. In the case of new threats, however, it often takes days before they are detected by antivirus software after an update. Modern threats sometimes also switch off the antivirus software or the update mechanism before they can be eliminated.