Security Basics and Best Practices

The following checklist will assist with remediating a windows machine which has been compromised due to unauthorized access (hack), malicious code (virus/worm/trojan), or other types of vulnerabilities in which the integrity of the machine is questionable. 

Some items on this list can also be used to proactively assist with prevention of unauthorized use, access or infection of a computer.
Change your password for each system that has been logged into from the infected machine
  1. Use strong passwords and, where possible, strongly encourage the use of strong passwords to your users.   Include all of the following in password composition to ensure that passwords will be at a low risk for compromise:
    • Numbers
    • Symbols and special characters
    • Use a minimum of 6 characters (preferably 8)
    • Do not use single or multiple combinations of any word that can be found in any dictionary, including foreign language dictionaries.
    • Do not use numerical (digit) substitutions for characters (e.g. h3lp, adm1n, etc.).
    • Do not use passwords that someone could easily guess that refer to something about you (e.g. your name, favorite sports teams, telephone number, birthdate, etc.).
    • To help remember a password, try using the first letter of each word in a phrase, mixed with the password composition hints above.
    • Never give out (share) your passwords to anyone, including system administrators.
  2. Update your machine
    Patch all software (OS and other applications)
    Update AVG or Symantec .virus definitions
    Install Windows or Mac OS X Updates
  3. Manually run a virus scan
  4. Turn off workstations at the end of the workday.
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