As a Systems Administrator, I have worked with different types of systems and networks. The most sensitive issue about being a Systems Administrator or even an individual user is the security of the system. Security includes keeping the system safe from threats and viruses, user restrictions in case of a system used by multiple resources, updating the operating system, firewalling to prevent hacking etc. Here I’m going to make a security checklist for Windows 7.
Windows 7 has very good features that let one organize and monitor the basic security of the system. Let’s list down the most basic areas that should be monitored for keeping Windows 7 secure:
Viruses and malwares have risen a lot in the recent years. The ability of the malwares to infect the system has also increased tremendously. While Windows 7 does not come with a pre-installed antivirus, it has Windows Defender which prevents spyware and other potentially unwanted softwares. Microsoft offers it’s stand alone antivirus named as Microsoft Security Essentials which is good enough for a home PC.
Download Microsoft Security Essentials from here:
Firewall helps monitor and restrict network traffic essentially preventing hackers and malicious softwares from gaining access to the system. For a home PC, Windows provides a built in firewall called Windows Firewall. In Windows 7, Windows Firewall can be configured by going to the Control Panel –> System And Security –> Windows Firewall
Windows Updates keeps the system up to date meaning that most of the recently discovered vulnerabilities/problems/enhancements in Windows 7 will be fixed as soon as it is updated. Windows Updates should be turned on to allow Windows to download and install the latest updates for itself. Windows Update can be configured by going to Control Panel –> System And Security –> Windows Update
Backup And Restore
Windows allows you to take different kinds of backups which include individual file backup in which you can take backup of the selected files and folders, system image backup which contain Windows and system settings, programs and other important files for taking complete image backup of Windows. Previous versions are copies of files and folders that Windows automatically saves as part of system protection. You can use previous versions to restore files or folders that you accidentally modified or deleted, or that were damaged. Depending on the type of file or folder, you can open, save to a different location, or restore a previous version. To setup backup and restore options, go to Control Panel –> System And Security –> Backup and Restore.
System Restore And Recovery
Windows keeps on creating System Restore points regularly which can be used to restore the system to a previous date if any serious error has occured. System Restore can be accessed through Control Panel –> All Control Panel Items –> Recovery
User Account Control
User Account Control is very helpful in monitoring which applications are accessing sensitive areas of the system which can damage Windows. User Account Control can be accessed through Control Panel –> User Accounts and Family Safety –> User Accounts –> Change User Account Control Settings
Using NTFS permissions wisely can result in a more secure system. Configure NTFS permissions on important folders according to the user rights you want to give to each user.
Last of all, Action Center acts as a monitoring solution for most of the security options given above.
If anyone has some other useful suggestions about the enhancement of this security checklist for Windows 7, please let us know through comments below.