Windows Computer Certification


Before connecting to our network, we need you to certify that your personal computer is protected against malicious viruses and spyware. It is critical that you take the steps below to protect your data and privacy. Certification helps protect the Law School network and systems from viruses and security breaches.

Certification Steps

  1. Install Symantec Endpoint Protection
  2. Confirm Windows Firewall is enabled
  3. Verify Windows Updates install automatically
  4. Verify Windows is fully patched
  5. Set a strong password for all accounts
  6. Use a restricted user account 


Step 1

Verify that your computer has Symantec Endpoint Protection installed and that your virus definitions are up to date. This is available via the Penn Website (PennKey login): SEP for Windows.

Note: you will need to uninstall any current antivirus program before installing this new version.   

Step 2

Verify that your computer has Windows Firewall activated. If you have a third party firewall application installed, you will need to disable it.

  • Open “Control Panel” > “Windows Firewall” and be sure it is set to On. Click “OK”.
    • If you cannot find “Windows Firewall” as an option, please click “Switch to Classic View” option.
  • Open “Control Panel” > “Internet Options”. Under the “Security” tab, click “Default Level”, then”OK”.   

Step 3

Verify your computer is set to install Windows Updates automatically.

  • Click “Start”, click “Run”, type “sysdm.cpl”, and then press “ENTER”.
  • Click the “Automatic Updates” tab, and then click to select this option: “Automatic (recommended)” automatically download recommended updates for my computer and install them. If any recommended updates are found, click Install. Follow the prompts until there are no remaining updates to install.   

Step 4

Verify your computer is fully patched.

  • Windows 7 & Vista: Click “Start”. Type “wuapp” in the search box and hit enter. Click “Check online for updates from Microsoft Update”.
  • Windows XP: Open “Internet Explorer”. Go to, click “Start Now” and follow the instructions to install Microsoft Update. Be sure to continue to the “Check for Updates” page and choose “Express Install”. If any recommended updates are found, click Install. Follow the prompts until there are no remaining updates to install.   

Step 5

Set a strong password. Make sure you choose a strong password for every user account, including the Administrator account. This is done at “Start” > “Control Panel” > “User Accounts”. Click on the name of each of your user accounts and choose the link to “Create a password.” Choose passwords that are longer than 8 characters. It is OK to include spaces (use a passage from a song or poem!) and other special characters.   

Step 6

Use a restricted user account. Most home computers are more susceptible to viruses and spyware because users log in with an account that has Administrator access. It is important to change your default login to have ‘limited’ access and create a new account with Administrator access for installing new software and changing system settings.

  • “Start” > “Control Panel” > “User Account”s > “Create New Account”.
  • Type in a name for the account(e.g., XYZ) , then choose “Administrator” and click “Create Account”.
  • Click on the new account and change the password to a strong password.
  • In Windows 7:
  1. While still in the User Accounts, Click “Manage User Accounts” link.
  2. Now click the account name you normally use. 
  3. Click on the “Properties” button.
  4. Choose the “Group Membership” tab.
  5. Change your selection to “Standard User”
  6. Lastly, click on the “Apply” button.
  • In Vista:
    1. While still in the User Accounts, Click “Manage another account” link.
    2. Now click the account name you normally use.
    3. Change the check box to select “Standard User”
    4. Finally click the “Change Account Type” button to finish setting the limited account type.

Information Security and Privacy Resources

Please visit the Security Overiew page for more information.


Systems Availability

  • Our online services may not be available during these maintenance periods.

    Fridays: 5pm-midnight
    2nd & 4th Tuesdays: 5pm-7pm

    Tuesdays: 5am-7am
    Thursdays: 5pm-7pm


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