Avoiding Spyware and Viruses

Spyware and viruses are constantly changing and becoming harder to identify. Here are some simple tips for preventing spyware and viruses:

(1) Install your computer updates regularly
– When your computer alerts you that you have updates ready to be installed, make sure to install them right away. Many updates are crucial to your computer’s security.
(2) Do not ever open attachments or click any links from senders that you do not know – Spammers are always trying to get your personal information through emails, but viruses and spyware can spread this way also. It is important to never open messages from someone you do not know.
(3) Do not click on pop-up adds – Pop-up windows are often a product of spyware. If you are seeing pop-ups it may be a good time to run a full scan of your computer with the University installed Symantec Endpoint software. To do this, double click the gold shield in the bottom right corner of your computer. When the Symantec window opens, choose full scan.
(4) Avoid using file-sharing programs – Anyone can upload any type of file to a peer-to-peer program such as Limewire. What you think is an MP3 can often be some sort of harmful program that will cause damage to your computer.
(5) Only download software from trusted sources – Always read a website’s privacy policy before downloading anything, especially free software. By installing this software you may be opening your computer up to various threats.
(6) Do not visit illicit sites – Illicit sites are havens for security threats.
(7) Do not follow email links claiming to offer anti-spyware software – We have installed and monitor anti-virus software on all University machines. Following these links may actually install spyware on your computer.
(8) Choose “no” when asked unexpected questions – If you are ever unsure of a pop-up or dialog box opening on your computer, please contact the Help Desk at x2920.