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SafeConnect

SafeConnect is ResNet's new network registration and security compliance tool. SafeConnect will ensure that computers have the necessary security requirements to protect them from malware, spyware, exploits, and operating system security holes. This will result in improved performance and reduced downtime for cleaning and repairs due to malware.

SafeConnect requires the use of a lightweight program known as a "policy key," which must be installed on computers using Windows or Mac OS X operating systems in order for them to access the network. The policy key will verify that computers are meeting the key components of UCSD's Minimum Network Security Requirements, specifically looking to make sure that a computer has:

  • All the latest OS Updates
  • A firewall on
  • An updated anti-virus solution
  • All the latest updates for software with known vulnerabilities (Java, Adobe)

The policy key will prompt you to take action if your computer is found to have fallen behind on any necessary updates. While all network devices must register on SafeConnect, mobile devices (e.g., phones, tablets, game systems with a built-in browser) will not need to install the Policy Key. Other network devices without a built-in browser can be registered by emailing ResNet (click here for details).

Note that SafeConnect does not monitor your network traffic, nor does it record information about your computer beyond what is needed to connect.

ResNet continues to make every effort to ensure that your network experience is as productive and secure as possible. If you have additional questions, please see our Safe•Connect FAQ.

How to Prepare Your Computer for ResNet

Follow the steps below to ensure that your computer meets all the requirements for registration.

Update your Operating System

No operating system is perfect. In fact, computers are constantly at risk of being exploited by viruses and hackers. However, an up-to-date computer can fend off a very good majority of these attacks. Unfortunately, people do not usually update their machines, leaving not only their computer, but the network they are connected to vulnerable to external attack. For this reason, ResNet requires that all machines connected to the network be fully updated, as outlined in the ResNet Acceptable Use Policy. We strongly recommend setting up your computer to automatically download and install updates as they are made available.

Windows

Windows 8

Setting Up Automatic Updates

  1. Open the Search charm in the Start screen, enter "Turn automatic updating on or off," and click Settings to find it.
  2. Select "Install updates automatically (recommended)" under "Important updates."
  3. Click OK to save settings.

Installing Updates

  1. Open the Search charm in the Start screen, enter "Windows Update," and click Settings to find it.
  2. Click "Check for updates now."

Windows 7 / Vista

Setting Up Automatic Updates

  1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button, searching for "Update," and clicking "Windows Update."
  2. Click "Change Settings" on the left sidebar.
  3. Select "Install updates automatically (recommended)" under "Important updates."
  4. Click OK to save settings.

Installing Updates

  1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button, searching for "Update," and clicking "Windows Update."
  2. Click on "Check for updates" on the left sidebar.
  3. Click on "Install updates" if any updates are found. Your computer may restart during this time.

Windows XP

Alert!

Please note that Windows XP will be considered End-Of-Life on April 8th, 2014. We STRONGLY recommend updating to or purchasing a new computer with Windows 7 or 8.

Setting Up Automatic Updates

  1. Click Start, click Run, type in "sysdm.cpl" and press Enter.
  2. Click the "Automatic Updates" tab and select the "Automatic (recommended) Automatically download recommended updates for my computer and install them" option.

Installing Updates

  1. Open a new Internet Explorer window and navigate to http://update.microsoft.com/.
  2. Click "Express Install" to install any detected updates.

Macintosh

All Supported Versions

Setting Up Automatic Updates

  1. Open System Preferences by going to the Apple icon in the upper left, then clicking System Preferences.
  2. Click on "Software Update" under System.
  3. Check "Automatically check for updates."

Installing Updates

  1. Open Software Update by going to the Apple icon in the upper left, then clicking Software Update.
  2. (Mountain Lion): Click on "Update All" in the App Store window that opens up.
    (Others): Click on "Install" in the Software Update window.

Use a Firewall

A firewall serves as a protective barrier between your computer and the Internet. The firewall acts as a gatekeeper - you get to decide what goes in and what comes out of your computer. Both Windows and Mac computers have built in firewalls, which we recommend using. To enable your firewall, follow the steps below:

Windows

Windows 8

  1. Open the Control Panel by searching for "Control Panel" in the Start screen.
  2. Open Windows Firewall (located under System and Security).
  3. Select "Turn on Windows Firewall." for both types of networks present.

Windows 7 / Vista

  1. Open Control Panel by clicking the Start button, searching for "Control Panel," and clicking "Control Panel."
  2. Click "Windows Firewall" (located under Security).
  3. Click "Turn Windows Firewall on or off."
  4. Click "On (recommended)" then click OK.

Windows XP

Alert!

Please note that Windows XP will be considered End-Of-Life on April 8th, 2014. We STRONGLY recommend updating to or purchasing a new computer with Windows 7 or 8.
  1. Click Start, click Run, type in "firewall.cpl" and press Enter.
  2. Under "General," check "On (recommended)".
  3. Click OK.

Macintosh

All Supported Versions

  1. Open System Preferences by going to the Apple icon in the upper left, then clicking System Preferences.
  2. Click on "Security & Privacy" under Personal.
  3. Click on "Firewall."
  4. Click "Turn On Firewall."

Install an Antivirus Program

An updated antivirus program will alert you when a potentially threatening file is being downloaded onto your computer.

With the increasingly prevalent nature of malware, virus signatures are one of the only ways current antivirus software can detect and remove new or evolving threats. Antivirus scanners are required to be constantly updated, as new malware emerges every day. Check your particular antivirus to ensure that this is performed on a daily basis.

We also recommend checking your subscription status, if you purchased your antivirus software. Expired antiviruses will not allow regular viral signature updates, rendering the antivirus ineffective.

Please keep in mind that when downloading any software, only download from a credible source. We strongly recommend going to the direct manufacturer to download software, as some aggregate sites may often have ads, outdated software, and malware.

There are a number of antiviruses that will meet this requirement for the UCSD network (e.g., Norton, AVG, McAfee, etc.). To view a list of all supported antiviruses, please click here: SafeConnect Approved Antiviruses.

Update your Computer Software

Keeping programs on your computer up-to-date is just as important as keeping your operating system up-to-date. Most malware use security vulnerabilities in your Internet browser or Internet plug-ins to infect your machine.

Web Browser Security

Today, the popular web browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer) are all known to be equally secure. While Internet Explorer formerly had many exploits, Microsoft has made significant improvements in security and is consistently updated. Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are the two most popular browsers among students and updates are being constantly released for these two browsers, improving their usability and security. Your choice in web browser will ultimately be based on the features it provides and how easy it is for you to use.

Plugin Security

One of the most important actions you can take to keep your computer safe and secure while browsing the web is to ensure that browser plugins stay updated, including:

  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Acrobat / Reader
  • Java

One of the primary methods of infection is through outdated versions of these programs. Both Adobe and Sun have released updates on a regular basis to patch security vulnerabilities in their programs. You can follow the instructions below to keep these programs updated and your computer secure.

Updating Java

Keeping Java up-to-date will protect you from a myriad of security vulnerabilities. It is best to update your software at least once a month. We recommend allowing Java to auto-update in your settings. To do that, follow the directions below for your operating system.

Windows 8

  1. Press Windows Key + W to open the Search charm to search the settings.
  2. In the Search box type: Java Control Panel
  3. Click on the Java Control Panel icon to open.
  4. Click the Update tab to access the settings.
  5. To enable Java Update to automatically check for updates, select the Check For Updates Automatically check box.
  6. To manually update now, from the Java Control Panel Update tab, you can manually check for an update any time by clicking on the Update Now button located at the bottom of the Update tab on the Java Control panel.

Windows 7 / Vista

  1. Click the Start Button, then settings, then Control Panel.
  2. Find the Java icon in your Control Panel (or search for Java) and double-click it to open the Java Control Panel.
  3. Click the Update tab to access the settings.
  4. To enable Java Update to automatically check for updates, select the Check For Updates Automatically check box.
  5. To manually update now, from the Java Control Panel Update tab, you can manually check for an update any time by clicking on the Update Now button located at the bottom of the Update tab on the Java Control panel.

Windows XP

  1. Launch the Java Control Panel by clicking the Java icon under System Preferences.
  2. Go to the Update tab in Java Control Panel and click on Update Now button that brings up. Installer window. If present, click "Update" to install software updates.
  3. Click on Install Update.
  4. Click on Install and Relaunch. (Save all your work before clicking Install and Relaunch)
  5. Once the installation is completed the Java application will be relaunched.
  6. If the Java application does not relaunch, manually relaunch so you can take advantage of the latest Java.

Mac OS X 10.7 and above (Lion, Mountain Lion)

The information below pertains to Java versions starting with Oracle Java 7, supported with Mac OS X 10.7.3 and above.

  1. Go to the Apple Menu, then System Preferences, and click on "Software Update."
  2. Check for updates. We recommend checking Weekly.
  3. We also recommend checking download important updates in the background.

Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and earlier

Mac OS X 10.6 updates Java using Software Update, so just continue to use Software Update and your Java will be updated.

Updating Adobe Products

Keeping Adobe products such as Flash and Acrobat up-to-date will keep your protected from the most recent security vulnerabilities.

Adobe Flash

The easiest method of updating your Flash player is by downloading the most recent version of flash for your operating system. You can download the latest version at the Adobe website.

Adobe Acrobat or Reader

Updates for Adobe Reader or Acrobat can be installed from Adobe Acrobat Updater or Adobe Reader Updater as described below:

  1. Launch Adobe Reader or Acrobat
  2. Choose Help > Check for Updates
  3. Follow the steps in the Updater window to download and install the latest updates.

Register Your Device on SafeConnect

If you are a UCSD Affiliate


Step 1: Authenticate with your UCSD Active Directory (your UCSD email without '@ucsd.edu' and email password) credentials on the ResNet Registration page.
Step 2: Install the SafeConnect Policy Key (computers only).
Step 3: After you have successfully completed ResNet Registration, you will have access to the Internet.

If you are a UCSD Guest


Step 1: Request a guest account.
Step 2: Read and accept the ResNet Acceptable Use Policy and enter your information to request guest account credentials.
Step 3: You will receive your credentials via text and email.
Step 4: Authenticate using your guest credentials on the ResNet Registration page.
Step 5: Install the SafeConnect Policy Key (computers only).
Step 6: After you have successfully completed ResNet Registration, you will have access to the Internet.

Note

If you are not in compliance with the ResNet Acceptable Use Policy, you will be notified of which security step you missed. You will not be able to access the Internet until you have resolved these security issues.