Laptop Security

Anti-theft Practices & Devices

Theft happens. Laptop theft has happened at CCA in the past, generally when the user "stepped away" from their unsecured computer. To prevent this, we highly suggest that all laptop owners purchase laptop anti-theft devices (available in the CCA Apple Store) and that you use these devices whenever you need to be away from your computer. Keeping your laptop out of sight when you are away from it will also help keep it safe.

Anti-virus Software

CCA is pleased to recommend Sophos Anti-Virus protection for both Mac and Windows PCs. The software is free for home use as well.  Your CCA issued computer has Sophos already installed.

Mac OS X Security

Apple owners running OS X should frequently check for OS security updates. If your Apple laptop isn't already configured to automatically check for updates, you can check manually by clicking on the Apple menu (i.e. the Apple icon located in the top-left corner of your screen), and selecting “Software Update”. This will search for any potential software you are eligible to update for free.  We highly recommend that you install the OS security updates as soon as they become available.


We recommend that you turn on your firewall to limit the amount and types of files that can be accessed from the outside world without your knowledge. In Mac OS X, you can turn on your firewall by opening System Preferences and selecting the “Sharing” icon. This preference panel will allow you to select what kind of sharing you would like to do from your computer*.  If you are going to do any sharing while at CCA, select the “”Personal File Sharing” check-box.  If you want to share your iTunes music collection while maintaining your firewall, select the “iTunes Music Sharing” checkbox. After selecting which types of files you’d like to share, select the “Start” button to turn on your firewall. While at CCA, TURN OFF PRINTER SHARING. This causes untold printing problems for laptop users who are trying to print through the CCA Networked Printers


Occasionally, a student will happen upon a Web Site that installs mini-software on your computer without your knowledge.  This type of software is called Spy-ware, and can be used for many nefarious guerrilla-marketing purposes that can muck up your computer.  If you are experiencing strange things happening with your internet/mail browser, or your computer is unusually slow, it may have spy-ware installed. There are several online free-ware & share-ware solutions for how to remove spy-ware from your computer.