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IT Services
Information Security

Preventing Spyware, Adware, Viruses and Other Internet Nasties

spywareWith the proliferation of spyware, adware, viruses, trojans and other malicious software, it is critical that users protect themselves, their computers, and the campus from security attacks. The following list of guidelines will help you to minimize risk and keep your data safe.

Install and Run Antivirus Software
If you are using a laptop on campus, it is strongly recommended that you are running some form of virus protection on your computer.

Install OS/Software Updates
Keep your operating system (OS) and applications up-to-date. Updates can fix problems with your OS and software applications, including security vulnerabilities. Utilize the automatic update feature offered by many programs and operating systems to help keep your computer protected.

Beware of Spyware, Adware and Misleading Applications
These pesky programs take up memory, slow down your computer or cause other problems.

Closely read user agreements for free programs before clicking, "I accept". Watch for allusions to spyware and adware in user agreements. Regularly scan your computer with anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-adware programs.

Protect Your Passwords & Personal Information
Don't share your passwords and always make sure you choose secure passwords that use a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols, and use case sensitivity (upper and lower case letters).

Don’t fall for email scams – aka phishing attacks. Phishing attacks use spoofed emails and fake web sites to fool the recipients into divulging personal information such as user names and passwords, credit card numbers, social insurance numbers, etc. They often appear to come from legitimate sources, but most legitimate sources will never ask you to divulge personal information via email or telephone. See Phishing Messages: Don't Get Hooked for more details and some phishing examples.

Backup Your Data
Reduce the risk of losing your data to a virus attack or computer crash by regularly backing up important files. Sheridan users can store important files on their personal network drive. These drives are backed up every night.