Peek #7. Security: Viruses and Spyware
Would you walk away from your house or your car, leaving either one unattended and unlocked, doors wide open, valuables in sight?
(Well, you live in Maine; you might. But you shouldn’t!)
Your computer at work (and at home) also contains valuables: you shouldn’t leave it unprotected either. With the advent of our PeopleSoft® system for managing sensitive Human Resources and Financial Management data (and later on, Student Administration Services data), we need to be sure that we all follow safe computing practices.
Viruses, spyware, and Trojan horses can wreak havoc with your computer, as anyone who has been infected already knows.
What you should know: If your machine is infected by a nasty bug, someone may be capturing your keystrokes and might be able to see sensitive data--like your password. Your computer might be used without your knowledge to spread the bug or attack other computers. If you use peer-to-peer file sharing networks (Gnutella, Direct Connect, Kazaa, Morpheus, LimeWare, for example), you're seriously compromising your computer's security and privacy.
What you can do:
• Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer. Make sure it is running and is up-to-date. The University of Maine System has a System-wide license for Norton AntiVirus software, which you can get through your campus computer services office or Help Desk (see phone numbers below). These folks can also guide you to free anti-spyware programs.
• Firewall software can help protect you from attacks. Some operating systems provide firewall software, or you can acquire some free or for a small fee. If you need assistance with this, be sure to use the number listed below for your campus.
• Keep up with the updates to your operating system.
• Do not leave your computer unattended while you are signed on; be sure to sign off before leaving your workstation.
Computer Services / Help Desk Phone Numbers
UNET Orono 581-3587
UNET Augusta 621-3323
The University of Maine 581-2506
University of Maine at Augusta 621-3040
University College – Bangor 262-7740 or 7745
University of Maine at Farmington 778-7300
University of Maine at Fort Kent 834-7818
University of Maine at Machias 255-1237
University of Maine at Presque Isle 768-9626 or 551-5415
University of Southern Maine 780-4029