Computer security attacks can come in many forms and result in lost or corrupted data, computer failures, bizarre computer behavior, or even stolen personal information (passwords, PIN numbers, bank account data, etc.).
No one can prevent all computer security attacks. However, you can minimize these threats by taking the precautions listed below.
Follow all steps below on every computer you own or maintain.
- Keep backups of all valuable documents, spreadsheets, emails, images, music, bookmarks, etc. If you need help creating backups, contact the ProDesk.
- Heed all bulletins from the ProDesk. We work hard to provide information when needed. It is up to you to follow our instructions. ProDesk bulletins always reference a secure web page on Haverford’s web site with information related to that bulletin.
- Install Haverford’s antivirus software. Haverford licenses and distributes a customized installer for the antivirus product Kaspersky.
- Install all critical and important updates for your operating system, antivirus software, and other software programs. If your computer is properly configured, these are often available automatically. Watch for updates messages from your software packages, and also announcements from ProDesk.
- Beware of scams, phishing attempts, and other malicious emails. Before taking any action suggested by an email message, verify that it is legitimate.
- Beware of Scareware. Scareware generates bogus pop-ups that look like legitimate warnings from antivirus or antispyware software, firewall applications, or registry cleaners. Typically, scareware messages say that a large number of problems — such as infected files — have been found on the computer, and the user is prompted to purchase software to fix the problems.
- Use caution when downloading software and documents. Beware of unsolicited pop-ups offering “antivirus” software or system enhancing tools. Such offers often load malicious software onto your system.
- Do not open attachments or click on web links in messages unless you are expecting them. Potential hazards are often distributed through email, instant messages, and social networking sites.
- Avoid peer-to-peer file sharing networks such as LimeWire and Soulseek. Although these networks offer many benefits, they also create security holes and thus open your system to malicious software and other attacks.
- Do not extend the college network through your own wireless access points, switches, or routers. Wireless transmitters jeopardize the security of the entire campus network.
- Be alert to unusual computer behavior. If you notice anything unusual, such as the wrong name appearing in your email account, your computer running unusually slow, unexpected login requests, or your browser loading the wrong web pages, please contact the ProDesk immediately. These are common symptoms of a compromised computer or email account.