Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Software

  • October 20th, 2020

Be Cybersmart. Keep systems up to date. Update software.October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Learn how to keep your critical software secure with tips from the Office of Information Technology.

Software and application updates are critical to secure your device and your information. The sooner you update, the sooner you will increase your cybersecurity protection. Here are a few things you should always keep up to date.

Operating System

Your operating system is the system that runs your device. For PC users, it’s Windows, for Mac users, it’s Mac OS. The OS is the system on which everything else functions. OIT supports the most recent version of an OS, as well as the past two. Visit the OIT website to see a list of supported operating systems. If your system is not on the list, it’s time to update.

Internet Browser

Hackers look for vulnerabilities in internet browsers to be able to see a user’s activity online. Your internet browser, whether it be Firefox, Chrome, Edge or Safari, regularly releases updates to patch vulnerabilities and keep your searching secure. Always perform internet browser updates, and set them to auto-update.

Software Applications

Software applications, like Microsoft Office, Box, LastPass and others, can hold a lot of important information. By updating software applications, you are securing the information used or stored in the applications.

Take the guesswork out of software updates with automatic updates. When automatic updates are enabled, updates often occur over night when the device is not in use.

Also, do not install unsupported software. OIT offers many software packages for free. If you find that you have a need not supported by one of these software packages, contact OIT for a solution. 

Antivirus Software

OIT offers McAfee antivirus software for free to UA students, faculty and staff. McAfee is already installed on most faculty and staff machines; however, if you’re working on a personal laptop or computer, OIT encourages you to install McAfee on your own computer. The software, and step-by-step instructions, is available on the OIT website.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.