Security and Privacy

User Guides to Safer Computing

IT Policies apply to all individuals who access or control Columbia University information resources. Send reports of security incidents, attacks, or questions to

Getting Started with Computer Security at Columbia

Steps to take before you arrive on campus to stay secure.

Keep Your Operating System Up to Date

Use built-in automatic update features to patch holes in your computer's defenses and fend off network worms.

Stay Safe on Social Networks

Dos and don'ts for enjoying social networks in a secure manner.

Spectre and Meltdown Exploits

Learn about vulnerabilities that impact nearly all computers, mobile devices and servers.

Use Anti-Malware Application and Keep It Up to Date

Use an anti-virus program and keep it up to date to avoid known viruses, worms and trojans.

Use Strong Passwords Everywhere

Use strong passwords both online and on your PC to prevent anyone from guessing them.

Prevent Identity Theft

Protect yourself from identity theft and know what to do if your information is compromised.

Protect Your Personally Identifiable Information

Identify, remediate, and secure sensitive information (PII) that could be on your computer.

Keep Your Machine Physically Secure

Take steps to ensure that your computer, and the data inside of it, never falls into the wrong hands.

Don't Use Filesharing Programs

To avoid trojans and legal liability, stay away from filesharing networks.

Be Skeptical and Avoid "Phishing" Scams

Protect your confidential data by being aware of common phishing email clues.

Make Backups

Even if your computer is lost, you can save your data by making backups.

Be Aware When You Are Traveling Abroad

Guidelines for protecting your data during international travel.

Secure Resources for CU Systems Administrators

Security tools for Columbia's sysadmins.

CUIT Security Downloads


Windows application for scanning your workstation for Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as Social Security Numbers.

PC PhoneHome stolen laptop recovery software for Windows

Columbia students and employees of can download for free with their UNI.

Symantec Endpoint Protection

Columbia students and employees of can download for free with their UNI.



Software for Windows and Macs that will zip and unzip files.