Below are suggested Malware protection and how to avoid spam, spim and spyware.
Suggested Malware Protection
The North Dakota University System has an agreement with Microsoft that allows for Microsoft Forefront to be installed on all campus owned PC's. Students and employees also have the option to install Microsoft Security Essentials on their personal PC's. Visit this link for more information on:
- Microsoft Forefront (PC)
- Microsoft Security Essentials (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 viruses or downloading the anti-virus software.
Avoid Spam, Spim 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 webpage that looks like a legitimate banking, or online business webpage asking for usernames, passwords, or other identifiable information
- Spim - Spam through instant messaging applications like Facebook Chat
- 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.
Tips to Avoid Spam:
- 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.
- Be careful of downloading pictures and other things your IM friends may send you. Check with them first to make sure they have sent you something
Spyware, what is it:
- Used mostly to gather information and 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:
- 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 Spim/Spam/Spyware attack please contact the IT Help Desk at 701-231-8685 Option 1 for assistance