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Important! Protect your home computer now - in 4 steps

2 April 2020

We are all working from home now, but not all our home PCs are running on up-to-date software. This makes us extra vulnerable for cyber attacks. Hackers are aware of this and are actively searching the internet for vulnerabilities in network security. They are even targeting hospitals. 

Update your computer

The corona outbreak requires joint responsibility and solidarity. Please protect your home computer now, by executing the following 4 steps: one virus outbreak is more than enough. 

Helpdesk support

Do you have any questions about setting up your home computer? Or do you need assistance? Please contact the ISSC helpdesk. They can assess what you need for working from home, and are happy to support and advise you.

Windows XP or Windows 7

Are you using Windows XP or Windows 7? If so, please contact the ISSC helpdesk immediately.

What version of Windows am I using?

Microsoft and Apple are constantly protecting their operating systems against hackers and cyber criminals. They do so by issuing updates. They do not release any updates for their outdated systems anymore, which makes these systems vulnerable. It means that viruses and hackers can easily enter your computer and the university network, even if you have an anti-virus programme installed.

Up-to-date operating system

To protect yourself and the university, it is very important:

  1. that you work with Windows 10 / MacOS High Sierra or a newer operating system. 
  2. that you install the latest security updates.
  Which operating system do I have? Minimal requirement for safe university work  What is the latest update?
Windows Click here Windows 10 Go to latest update
Windows ISSC work laptop Click here Windows 10 Go to latest update
Mac Click here MacOS 10.13 (High Sierra) Go to latest update

Is your operating system not up-to-date?

Are you working with Windows 7? Via Surfspot.nl you can purchase a Windows 10 upgrade for €4,99. The ISSC helpdesk can support you if you have difficulty installing it.

Laptop too old for updates

Is your PC or laptop too old for the installation of Windows 10? Please contact the ISSC helpdesk for advice. 

Anti-virus software:

  • helps to prevent you downloading harmful files.
  • keeps hackers out of your network.
  • prevents your from visiting websites that are not safe.

So please ensure that you have an active, up-to-date and good quality anti-virus programme.

ISSC-issued work laptop

Your university laptop already has an anti-virus programme installed. If you use the search function (magnifying glass, below left) you will find the anti-virus programme that is operational on your laptop.

Anti-virus software on your personal computer

Are you working from home on your own PC? Surfspot offers a range of anti-virus programmes which you van purchase for a reduced price. Log in to Surfspot using your ULCN account.

If you can use a Wifi network without a password, then the network is not secure and you are not allowed to use it for your work. What should you do if you DO wish to connect to the internet?

Secure your home network

Secure your Wifi at home with a WPA2 password. You do so via your router. Contact your internet provider for support. You can change your standard (and easy to crack) password on your router. Find tips for strong passwords here

Install a VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) sends your internet activities through a coded ‘tunnel’ and creates a new IP address with every connection. This gives your better protection and anonymity. Install a VPN, such as EduVPN, for secure internetting on a (public) Wifi network. 


Do you need help? Please contact the ISSC helpdesk.

If outdated versions of programmes are running on your computer, then hackers or other malicious intruders can use these for a cyber attack. Therefore, be sure to update your programmes at least once a month. 

ISSC work laptop

Do you have a laptop issued by the university? Normally the updates will be installed when you are connected to the university network. If you are working from home, you need to update the software manually.

Updating programmes on your Windows computer

Go to the helpdesk portal for (instructions on) software updates.

Update software

Updating programmes on your Mac

Go to the Mac website for (instructions on) software updates.

Update software
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