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Below are suggested Malware protection and how to avoid spam, malware, and spyware.

Suggested Malware Protection

The North Dakota University System has an agreement with Microsoft that allows for Microsoft Windows Defender to be installed on all campus owned PC's. Below is a listing of Malware protection suggested for use on personal computers. 
  • Microsoft Windows Defender (PC) 
  • ClamXav (Mac) 
  • Clam av (Linux) 
Keep your antivirus software current. 
Contact the IT Help Desk at 231-8685 (Option 1) if you have questions about malware or anti-malware software.

Avoid Spam and Spyware


  • Spam - Unsolicited messages that appears in your inbox (this could also be in your text messaging inbox as well) from companies or organizations, trying to sell you something. 
  • Phishing - Spam asking you for account credentials either directly or by having you visit a specially crafted web page that looks like a legitimate banking, or online business web page asking for usernames, passwords, or other identifiable information. 
  • Spyware - Malicious software installed on your computer often without your knowledge, usually there to collect information about you.  Sometimes shows up as Anti-virus or Anti-malware applications that need you to enter a credit card to "activate."  Often this will be installed in the form of a popup that will offer you an "OK" or "Cancel" button, pressing either of these buttons will result in the spyware installing on your computer. 
  • Ransomware - Malicious software installed on your computer often without your knowledge, this software will encrypt all your personal, work files like documents, spreadsheets, pictures and then will send a pop up screen to your desktop demanding that you pay money to get the decryption key. This type of software has also been known to download all those files and threaten to publically disclose them unless you pay a ransom. 

Tips to Avoid Spam: 

  • Check the email for misspellings, weird email addresses that the message is from
  • Do not reply to or click the "Unsubscribe" link, this will let the spammers know they have a live address 
  • Disable the preview pane in your e-mail client
  • If you have that option Use multiple e-mail addresses, one for family and friends, one for business, one for everything else. 
    • Using multiple addresses allows you to create a SPAM Only email account. When you need to fill out a form on a web page you can use the SPAM Only account and if that e-mail address gets spammed its just that account.
  • Don't post your e-mail address in its normal form on a publicly accessible Web page. 
  • Keep your operating system and your anti virus software current and up to date with patches.

Spyware, what is it: 

  • Used mostly to gather information and may steal credentials or credit card numbers
  • Often downloads and installs without your knowledge
  • Most often disables your legitimate anti-malware software 
  • Can control browser's home page, ability to block pop-up ads, and often will redirect you to malicious websites 
  • Can slow computer's performance and cause system and software crashes 

How do I avoid it: 

  • Do not use your computer as an Administrator, setup the computer with an Admin account, and then use the computer as a general User
  • Download and install software from trusted sources 
  • Adjust your browsers security settings to avoid automatic downloads and installs 
  • Keep your software up to date. Spyware can enter the computer through old and vulnerable third party applications such as document readers or web acceleration technologies 
  • Do not click on pop up or pop under ads 
  • When a popup or popunder occurs, click the close button in the upper right or left of the application, DO NOT trust the buttons in the application window. 
  • Avoid using file sharing applications 
If you feel you have been the victim of a Spam/Spyware attack please contact the IT Help Desk at 701-231-8685 Option 1 for assistance

KeywordsMalware, spam, spyware, security, protection, protect   Doc ID96127
OwnerIT SecurityGroupIT Knowledge Base
Created2019-11-21 16:47:27Updated2024-01-22 11:45:58
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