Network settings & firewalls

Check that your network settings aren't leaving your device vulnerable, and if available, turn on your firewall.

Prevent automatic connections to unknown/open wireless networks

Windows

A Windows device will only connect automatically to networks where you ticked "Connect automatically" when connecting previously.

You can tell your Windows device to "forget" a network to prevent it from connecting automatically.

Windows 10

  1. Go to the Start menu and open Settings
  2. Click Network & Internet
  3. Under the Wi-Fi heading click Manage Wi-Fi settings
  4. Under the Manage known networks heading, single click on a network to highlight it and then click the Forget button

Windows 8.1

  1. Go to the Start menu, search for Network connection settings and open the matching result
  2. Under the Wi-Fi heading click Manage known networks
  3. Single click on a network to highlight it, then click the Forget button

Windows 7 and Windows Vista

  1. Go to the Start menu, search for Manage wireless networks and open the matching result
  2. Single click on a network to highlight it, then click the Remove button

Mac OS X

Your Mac will only automatically connect to networks you have on your Preferred Networks list.

You can tell your Mac to "forget" a network to prevent it from connecting to it automatically:

  1. Go to System Preferences | Network
  2. Click on Wi-Fi in the left column
  3. Click on Advanced (in the bottom right corner)
  4. Select a network from the Preferred Networks list, then click the minus (-) button

Linux

The following instructions are based on Ubuntu 14.04. Other Linux distros may be similar but not identical.

Ubuntu will only automatically connect to networks you have previously joined.

You can tell your device to "forget" a network to prevent it from connecting to it automatically:

  1. Click on the Wireless icon in the top menu bar
  2. Click on Edit Connections…
  3. Select a network from the Wi-Fi list and click Delete

iOS

iOS devices will only automatically connect to wireless networks you have previously joined.

You can tell your iOS device to "forget" a network to prevent it from connecting to it automatically.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select WiFi. This will present you with a list of networks that are currently within range
  3. Tap on the blue i symbol next to the network you want to change
  4. Tap Forget this network

Unfortunately iOS currently doesn't offer a means to forget networks you have joined in the past but are not currently in range.

Android

Android devices will only automatically connect to saved wireless networks you have previously joined.

You can tell your Android device to "forget" a network to prevent it from connecting to it automatically.

The following instructions are based on the stock version of Android 5 Lollipop. Other versions of the Android operating system may be similar but not identical.

  1. Go to the App menu and select Settings
  2. Select Wi-Fi. This will present you with a list of networks that are currently within range
  3. Select the menu button (in the top right corner) and then Saved Networks
  4. Select the network you want your device to forget, then tap Forget

Local network file sharing

Many devices offer options to share files with other devices on the same network.

You must make sure that confidential University data is not shared in this way.

However, you are free to use these options to share data that is not confidential or sensitive.

If you have no intention of using these options, it is best to make sure that they are switched off so that you do not inadvertently share files.

Windows

When you first connect to a new network on a Windows device, you will be asked whether the network is a public or private network.

It is important that for any public networks you select the "Public" option.

By default this will prevent your device from:

  • being visible to other devices on the same network
  • sharing files or printers with other devices on the same network

However, you may have changed these settings in the past. To check them search for Manage advanced sharing settings in the Start menu.

Microsoft provide their own guidance on the sharing options in Windows 8.1, Windows 7 and Vista:

Mac OS X

The sharing options are disabled by default in OS X.

Apple provide their own guidance on using the File Sharing options:

Linux

The following instructions are based on Ubuntu 14.04. Other Linux distros may be similar but not identical.

By default files and folders are not shared. However, it is possible to share folders over the local network using the Local Network Share option:

  1. Right-click on the folder and go to Local Network Share
  2. Tick or untick the Share this folder option as required

If you are enabling sharing on a folder you will be prompted to install the Sharing service if it is not already installed on your device.

You can see a list of the shares currently enabled with the following terminal command:

ls -l /var/lib/samba/usershares

You can see the full path to one of your shares with the following terminal command:

cat /var/lib/samba/usershares/ShareNameGoesHere | grep path

iOS and Android

If you are using an app in order to share files over the network, you must ensure the application is properly configured to prevent confidential University data from being shared.

Firewalls

A firewall will help to protect you against hackers, some kinds of malware and other malicious network traffic - but only if it is switched on and properly configured.

If you have installed an anti-virus program this may include a firewall for you to use. You should consult your anti-virus program's documentation if you are unsure.

If your anti-virus program doesn't include a firewall, the major operating systems come with one pre-installed, but you need to make sure it is switched on.

Windows

To switch on the Windows Firewall:

  1. Go to the Start menu and search Windows Firewall - open the matching program. This will open the Windows Firewall screen in the Control Panel.
  2. In the column on the left, click Turn Windows Firewall on or off
  3. Make sure Turn on Windows Firewall is selected for each type of network

Microsoft provide further guidance on the Windows Firewall settings:

Mac OS X

To switch on the firewall:

  1. Go to System Preferences | Security & Privacy
  2. Go to the Firewall tab
  3. Click Turn On Firewall

Apple provide further guidance on the firewall settings:

Linux

The following instructions are based on Ubuntu 14.04. Other Linux distros may be similar but not identical.

The default firewall tool for Ubuntu is called UFW (or Uncomplicated Firewall).

This can be switched on with the default set of rules with the command:

sudo ufw enable

The firewall can be managed via the Terminal or by installing a GUI.

Ubuntu provide further guidance on the firewall settings:

iOS and Android

Due to the way that the operating systems are designed, you don’t need to configure a firewall for iOS and Android devices.