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 UC San Diego's Minimum Network Security Requirements, specifically looking to make sure that a computer has:
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.
Follow the steps below to ensure that your computer meets all the requirements for registration.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
The information below pertains to Java versions starting with Oracle Java 7, supported with Mac OS X 10.7.3 and above.
Mac OS X 10.6 updates Java using Software Update, so just continue to use Software Update and your Java will be updated.
Keeping Adobe products such as Flash and Acrobat up-to-date will keep your protected from the most recent security vulnerabilities.
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.
Updates for Adobe Reader or Acrobat can be installed from Adobe Acrobat Updater or Adobe Reader Updater as described below: