While we work hard to keep your computer systems safe, you play an important role too. Here are some tips you can use both here and at home to keep your computer running smoothly.
Did you know that UNH provides free AntiVirus software for all its faculty, staff, and students? You can put this software on your work and home computers. It's very important to use updated virus protection software at all times. Many times new computers will come with a virus scan application that will eventually need to be updated. You will need to pay for these updates. If you use the UNH McAffee VirusScan, you'll never have to pay for the updates. To download the application, please go to http://www.virus.unh.edu. If you are off campus, you will need to log into the VPN first (https://vpn.unh.edu)
If you suspect that your computer is infected by a virus/worm, please remove it from the network immediately, by disconnecting the network cable from your computer and call us as soon as possible at 862-4689.
Some helpful tips:
- Never open unsolicited email
- Microsoft, Symantec, and most other software companies will never send executables, patches or fixes, nor will they request that you update sensitive information such as passwords, via email.
- Never openany email attachments with the following file extensions:
- Never open any email attachments with double file extensions. In most cases, the last extension is the actual one. So, for instance, an attachment named myphoto.jpg.exe is an executable and not a jpg picture file
- Never open any emails with questionable subject lines. In addition to strange subject lines and strange content in the email, a large number of virus infected emails/attachments appear with odd text, poorly worded sentences or incorrect grammar. The subject or content may be strange looking andout of context
- Most virus warnings in circulation are hoaxes or actually contain viruses. Please do not pass them on to others but if you are concerned, please feel free to email them to us so we can help determine their validity
- If you are unsure about a file, you can always save it to your desktop or access it through your attachments folder, right click on the file and choose Scan for Viruses from the menu
- Update your antivirus definition files regularly. Your antivirus software can only find viruses when it recognizes them. Updating the virus definitions regularly allows your antivirus software to protect you from any new viruses that may be surfacing. Your office machines are set to update automatically but it is still prudent to check the dates
- We have also seen an increase in virus spoofing. Spoofing generally occurs when a machine is infected and the virus uses random names and email addresses taken from somewhere on the infected computer to send itself to others. So, the From: and the To: can both be chosen at random and may not reflect the actual sender of the email. Thus, if your email address is used for the From: field, you may get complaints from others for sending virus infected emails when they have not actually originated from your machine. In this same manner, you may be in the To: field and receiving emails that look like they're coming from your coworker when they may be originating from an infected machine that has both your email and your coworker's email in their address books or inbox, etc.
- The best defense is to never open an attachment you weren't expecting. When you receive any unsolicited or unexpected attachments, you should always confirm with the sender that the attachment is indeed legitimate and originated from them and scan the file before opening it.
In addition to virus protection, it's important to scan your computer regularly for Malware especially if you are a frequent web surfer. Malware acts like a virus, but usually without the distructive aspects of a virus. Often they will cause your computer to have a lot of pop-ups, tell you that your machine is infected and try to get you to purchase something to clean it, or generally just slow down your computer. While both McAffee VirusScan and Windows Vista/7 have tools to help combat Malware, they are not enough. Some of the tools we use are called Malware Bytes, CCleaner, and Ad-Aware. All are free and can be found online. If it seems like the amount of pop-ups you are getting has increased, I would recommend running one of these tools.
Have you ever considered what you would do if your computer hard drive died? It happens more than you would think. When was the last time you did a backup? Unfortunately most people do not back up thier data nearly enough. For your work comptuers, we provide each faculty and staff member server space to backup their data free of charge. Currently we ask that you keep the data within 10GB, however exceptions can be made. When you log into your computer (Windows only), you can look for a drive letter "H:" that is your personal network space. Only you can access this space. If for some reason you do not have a "H:" drive, please contact us to have one setup.
For your home comptuers, it is also very important to backup regularly. We have so many important files on our home computers like photographs, home movies, music, and important documents yet we still forget to back them up. While copying these files to an external hard drive or burning them to cd is an excellent start, there is a better way to backup your home computer. There are a number of online companies that offer unlimited backups for a small monthly fee. Please speak to someone in the IT office if you would like more information about this.